PANAJI: Artha Venture Fund (AVF), India’s first early-stage micro-VC fund, announced the final close of its debut fund at ₹220+ crores. The fund invests in B2B, B2C/D2C sectors and D2C enablers amongst others, and had targeted raising ₹200 crores. However, a surge of interest in Indian startups and the robust performance of the seed+ fund’s early investment made AVF overshoot its target and exercise the greenshoe option, informs a press release. AVF is a Category I alternative investment fund that invests in startups across seed, pre-series A, and series-A levels of growth.

The fund had targeted closing the corpus by July 2021 but overachieved its target two months ahead of schedule. 50+ limited partners (LPs) participated in the fund, with almost half of the LPs increasing their investment commitments in the last 3 months. More than 50% of the investments came from family offices, and from over 20 listed companies participating directly or through promoter entities. NRIs, HNIs, super angels, and SIDBI invested the remaining capital. The fund has allocated over 65% of its corpus for follow-on rounds and will make 10-12 seed+ investments per year.

Anirudh A. Damani, Managing Partner, Artha Venture Fund, said: “I am delighted with the confidence that our investors have shown in our investment strategy. Besides exceeding our targeted raise two months ahead of schedule, almost 50% of our first cohort of LPs doubled down on their earlier investments. Many referred us to people in their network. I welcome each LP to our investor family. Their reinvestment in, and promotion of, our fund within their network is a clear indicator that our fund strategy and structure resonates with them at a deeper level.”

“The real credit of closing this fund goes to our founders and my fantastic team. The effect of the two pandemic-led lockdowns shook our portfolio founders and our team. However, each one stuck to their task, and our founders responded to each obstacle as an opportunity. As a result, our portfolio-wide revenues grew 3x in 12 months without raising additional capital. This frugal but explosive growth is what excites us and our investors. We will continue to scout for seed+ stage deals in our preferred investment themes of D2C, D2C enablers, and B2B. Another sleeping giant that has piqued our interest in the last 12 months is the gaming sector, especially for the masses”, he added.

Vinod Keni, Growth Partner, Artha Venture Fund, commented: “I am humbled and grateful for the confidence placed by our investors in our investment and capital deployment strategy. The increase in commitments by our existing limited partners further validates our execution and the market opportunity. I look forward to working with our LPs, learning and leveraging their experience, expertise and networks for the benefit of our portfolio companies. The experienced team at Artha Venture Fund understands the importance of shared efforts, vision and purpose required to support amazing and successful enterprises. Our limited partners are vital to this mission”.

AVF had previously announced the second close of ₹100 crores of the said fund in June 2019. It has invested more than 25% of the total corpus in category-winning startups such as Agnikul, LenDenClub, Kabbadi Adda, HobSpace, PiggyRide, Daalchini, and more. The fund recently reinvested in Agnikul’s series-A round and has 6 deals set in the pipeline for the next few months. AVF has been broadening investment opportunities by engaging with various accelerators across the country and cumulatively (through associations and directly) plans to support 40 accelerator stage investments through small cheques written from this fund.


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