Artha India Ventures (AIV), the family office of Ashok Kumar Damani Wednesday said it has invested an undisclosed sum in Kenya-based online smartphone buy-back platform, Badili. The company raised $850,000 (around Rs 6.6 crore) in its first tranche of pre-seed funding which is targeting $3.35 million (Rs 25.9 crore).
Looking to invest in seed to Series A rounds across fintech, media and consumer-tech sectors, AIV aims to spread its investment portfolio across 7-8 countries across the African continent and will invest in 25 more startups by 2024.
It has a cumulative fund allocation of over $20 million in Africa through direct, general partners, limited partners and syndicated investments.
This investment brings AIV’s total number of international investments to 11, across Israel and US and has 75 investments including India and overseas markets.
"Africa is among the frontrunners of emerging markets after India. We have received a tremendous response from the African startup ecosystem and look forward to investing in 4 to 5 Africa-focused startups every year. Moreover, we are not limited to seed rounds and have expanded our investment strategy to include pre-series A and series A rounds for this important continent.” said Anirudh A Damani, Director, Artha India Ventures.
“Badili had to be our maiden investment in the country as we resonate with its pragmatic vision and frugal innovation. As the 1st player to purchase, refurbish and sell smartphones in Kenya, Badili has a clear first-mover advantage in the region,” he added.
Angels and institutional investors such as Rajesh Sawhney, Ritesh Malik, SOSV, Uncovered Fund and Grenfell Holdings participated in the round of funding for Badili.
The startup has said that it will use the funds to acquire inventory, tech enhancement, and establish its offline presence through brick-and-mortar stores across 7 cities in Kenya.
Artha India Ventures (AIV) is the alternative investment arm of stock broker and entrepreneur Ashok Kumar Damani. Founded in 2012, AIV generates liquidity through its operating assets, such as high-yielding renewable energy projects and GP investments in institutional funds, the generated cash is then invested in startup opportunities. The firm claims to have received 150-165 times returns from its investments in OYO Rooms and Exotel. AIV said it will be making up to 100 investments by 2023.