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Early stage venture capital firm Ventureast has announced the first closing of its sixth fund- Ventureast Proactive Fund II (VPF2). The fund targets a final closing in the next six months.

The new fund aims to invest in rural and semi-urban markets and in startups where ‘technology is a strong differentiator and not just an enabler.’ It also wants to lay emphasis on the needs of the SME’s and pure play technology ‘picks & shovels’. The sectors include fintech, enterprise applications, cloud, mobile internet, IoT, and consumer internet.

Sarath Naru, Managing Partner of Ventureast said, “We continue to invest in businesses where capital is not the primary competitive advantage, but ‘technology’ is. While huge investments have been made in tech businesses over the last five years chasing the ‘firstest with the mostest’ strategy, the emphasis today is on the kind of startups where technology will be the primary differentiator. These businesses are leveraging the cloud, IoT, big data analytics, /AI, mobile, etc. to build unique and globally scalable solutions.”

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Ventureast has also partnered with leading VC investors to build a pipeline of early-stage businesses over the last 12 months.

With the first closing, it has also finalised three deals which includes three new startups – Find Me A Shoe, OS Labs, and a digital-health startup.Find me a Shoe offers a virtual shoe-fitting room for ecommerce businesses. Customers get to create their digital foot profile on the app and find the right footwear via virtual trial shopping. The company graduated from the Target (USA) Accelerator Program in November 2015 and has already started working with brands and retailers in the US.

OS Labs provides a platform enabling leading handset makers and app developers to deliver a world class smartphone experience. The aim is to meet the real needs of the consumers through innovation, simplification, and localisation. The company is founded by IIT graduates and the senior management team includes top professionals and leading voices in the Indian smartphone industry.

The next is an undisclosed stealth-mode digital health company that provides personalised on-demand healthcare anytime, anywhere, via mobile devices, internet, video call and phone. The need for confidential and easily accessible digi-healthcare is immense, and Stanford University is collaborating with the company to put global best practices into play.

Ventureast  manages close to $400+ Mn fund with a diverse portfolio of more than 100 investments in technology, healthcare, and clean environment. Its investments includes startups such as Gland Pharma, Moschip, Sresta’s 24 Mantra, Little Eye Labs, Atyati, Loylty Rewardz, and DiabetOmics.

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