Mumbai, Jan 7: Unicorn India Ventures, a SEBI registered AIF-I VC fund, started by Anil Joshi and Bhaskar Majumdar has done its first close of Rs 40 crore of its Rs 100 crore fund. The fund will invest in early stage start-ups in the areas like social media, mobile, analytics, cloud tech and IOT.
Unicorn India Ventures has also appointed Aayush Jain, as a Principal for the fund. Mr. Jain comes with over 8 years of experience in corporate and product strategy, capital raising, business/corporate development and M&As across sectors including technology, media, cloud, digital, consumer and education. Having worked in leading investment banking and consulting companies, Aayush Jain will be heading Unicorn's Delhi operations.
Anil Joshi, Managing Partner, Unicorn India Ventures says, "Unicorn India Ventures has been started with an aim to discover start-ups that are doing groundbreaking work in their field. We want to be a partner in their journey towards growth and use our resources financial and otherwise to help them scale up. We want to bring best-of-breed international experiences to the start-ups."
Unicorn India Ventures has set out to do many firsts with this fund. The fund partners have raised money from new class of investors. These investors have been watching startup boom in India from the side-lines but were not sure about investing.
Bhaskar Majumdar, Managing Partner, Unicorn India Ventures, says, "We have been able to attract funding from both traditional and new investors. Interestingly, the ratio is 50:50 currently but we expect new investors' ratio to go up in the current year when we on board more investors for our further fundraise."
Globally, HNIs and other investors deploy 5 to 8 % of their portfolio in start-ups. In India, this trend is beginning to gather momentum and a new class of investors is increasingly showing interest to invest in start-ups through institutional funds. "We expect HNIs and new investors to deploy at least 5% of their total asset portfolio in start-ups here," he adds.
Post the close, Unicorn will be announcing its investments in start-ups. The fund plans to invest in 10-12 start-ups in a year, thereby creating a portfolio of 30 companies in 3 years. Their modus operandi to evaluate start-ups before investing in them is a unique one too. The partners spend close to 2 -- 3 months with founders of start-ups to understand their business model, team at work and co-founders' working relationship among other aspects like potential of scale up, global reach of the company etc.
Bhaskar Majumdar, Managing Partner, Unicorn India Ventures says, "We are quite clear about the kind of start-ups and teams we want to engage with. We prefer to invest in a company which has more than one founder. However, we don't involve ourselves in the day to day operations of a company as we believe founders should be in the driving seat making all big decisions. We are their sounding board and a guide."
Unicorn India has been structured as a hybrid fund whose first investment will enable start-ups with an seed round in the range of Rs 50 lakh to a crore, which would help companies build businesses and get ready for next round (Series A) where the fund will also participate as a co-investor.
Anil Joshi, Managing Partner, Unicorn India Ventures says, "We are betting on sectors like fintech, app based business helping enterprise solution, cloud technology but a common thread among any of these start-ups should be that they are solving real life problems of either end users or other businesses."
Unicorn India has also constituted an advisory board which comprise of entrepreneurs and highly experienced professionals who will be mentoring the portfolio companies to grow. DD Ganguly, a Sillicon-Valley based serial entrepreneur, who started two companies and successfully exited them, is one of members on the advisory board.
The entrepreneurs will be able to use his experience and expertise to scale up their business and provide a good exit for the investors.