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500 Startups revives micro VC fund for India, now eyes a larger corpus

18 March, 2015

Silicon Valley-based seed investor and accelerator 500 Startups is aiming to raise up to $20 million (about Rs 125 crore) for its India-focused micro VC fund 500 StartupWallah, according to a report in The Economic Times, citing Aerin Lim, director of investor relations, 500 Startups.

The firm had floated 500 StartupWallah with a corpus of $5 million in late 2012, along the same time 500 Luchadores (regional fund focusing on Latin America) and 500 Durians (regional fund focusing on Southeast Asia) were launched.

However, it never announced any fundraising milestone of 500 StartupWallah even as the other two regional funds raised money.

But it struck at least one deal from this fund. In November 2013, it invested in Pricebaba.com, a location-based price search engine for mobile phones, out of the fund.

Last year, 500 Startups had said it is raising a new and its third flagship fund with a target corpus of as much as $100 million. Simultaneously, it had also partnered with equity-based crowd-funding platform SeedInvest which would allow it to go for public fundraising from accredited investors in the US for its new fund as well as some of the other funds, including 500 Luchadores and 500 Durians.

The firm had on several occasions declined to comment on the status of this fund, despite repeated attempts by VCCircle in the past.

As per a US SEC disclosure, the registration period of 500 StartupWallah expires in August 31, 2015.

When contacted by VCCircle, Pankaj Jain, venture partner, 500 Startups, and associated with the firm’s activities in India, declined to comment on the plans to revive the fund.

Last month 500 Startups launched a new micro VC fund 500 Kimchi, which is expected to be invested in South Korean startups.

500 Startups was founded in 2010 by Dave McClure, a former executive at PayPal. Its network includes more than 750 startups, 200 mentors and 1,000 entrepreneurs across the globe. 500 Startups typically invests up to $250,000 in a company during the first leg.

Its preferred sectors include financial services, gaming, payments, SaaS and education on mobile and web.

It has funded several startups in India through its international fund. These  include WalletKit, TradeBriefs, Instamojo, ZipDial (acquired by Twitter), PriceBaba and gazeMetrix.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)


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500 Startups revives micro VC fund for India, now eyes a larger corpus

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