Seattle and Bengaluru-based Unitus Ventures Fund II (formerly Unitus Seed Fund) has received INR 75 Cr from Small Industrial Development Bank of India’s (SIDBI) Fund of Funds for startups, the company announced on Tuesday (August 18).
Besides SIDBI, PepsiCo’s former CEO Indra Nooyi, AmSoft Systems’ president Raj Nooyi, former Cognizant CEO Lakshmi Narayanan have also joined as existing investors in the venture fund. The company is already backed by Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, Bill Gates, Hemendra Kothari from DSP BlackRock, Sify cofounder Padma Chandrasekaran, Bank of Baroda Chairman Ravi Venkatesan. The fund has raised INR 100 Cr for its Fund II in 2018.
Of the amount raised recently, the venture fund has already infused INR 8.5 Cr in Bengaluru-based edtech startup Masai School. Overall, Masai School raised $2.5 Mn (nearly INR 18.7 Cr) in Pre-Series A funding led by Unitus Ventures. The round also saw participation from India Quotient and AngelList India. The startup focuses on upskilling students from a non-engineering background, rural areas to begin their career in the IT and tech industry.
Unitus Ventures’ Fund II will be used to invest an average ticket size of INR 5 Cr -INR 15 Cr in 15-20 early and growth-stage startups. Fund II focuses on startups developing platforms that connect job seekers with employers, the company said in a press statement. Overall, it focuses on education, healthcare and inclusive fintech.
The company has made 53 investments in India, including on-demand staffing platform Gigforce, conversational intelligence platform Salesken, online financial comparison platform SuperMoney, private finance company Eduvanz, blockchain startup New Street Technologies, on-demand private driver service provider DriveU, retail brand Caravan and others. Unitus Ventures has had 3 exits — jiffstore, mGaadi and OneClickwash.
Unitus Ventures is not the only company that has been preparing itself to invest in Indian startups as the pandemic has hit. On Tuesday, Lightspeed Venture Partners’s Indian unit, Lightspeed India Partners, also raised its Fund III with a commitment of $275 Mn (nearly INR 2,055 Cr at current conversion rate) from global institutional limited partners. Overall, the early-stage VC firm has invested nearly $750 Mn in India since its inception in 2007.
Hyderabad-based early-stage venture capital firm Endiya Partners is currently raising its fund II to invest in B2B startups across healthcare, enterprise technology solutions and consumer services sectors. The firm has already raised $10 Mn (nearly INR 75 Cr) from World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) and $6.6 Mn (INR 50 Cr) from Japan-based Nippon India Digital Innovation AIF Fund.