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Artha Venture Fund (AVF), an early-stage micro-venture capital fund, said it has launched Artha Access through which it will invest in pre-seed funding rounds via its associations with multiple accelerators across the country.

AVF has earmarked a corpus from its recently closed fund of Rs 225 crore and will invest up to Rs 25 lakh in each transaction. Artha Access will invest in 40 deals by 2025.

Aspects such as smooth deal execution, adequate handholding, and fast turnaround times are possible due to AVF's partnership with India Accelerator, Huddle and IIM Calcutta Innovation Park.   

The accelerators will carry out the due diligence and on-boarding process, while AVF will provide the startups access to its network and ecosystem, besides co-investing with the accelerators.

AVF has just closed a deal through these partnerships and as a result invested in 'TheRollNumber' in August. 

India has witnessed significant growth in startup funding. Most deal-making occurs in late-stage funding rounds, with early stage struggling to beat the 2016 peak, AVF said. Taking note of this gap, Artha Access gives pre-seed stage founders the necessary funds and access to the entire funding spectrum.   

"With the geographical spread for startup funding expanding to the Big 8, startups in Tier II and III cities are gaining significant momentum, with a knack for solving real-human problems,” said Anirudh A Damani, managing partner, AVF. 

As part of the Artha Access programme, select startups will have an opportunity to secure funding upwards of Rs 18 crore ($2.5m) in follow-on rounds from AVF.

Artha's team has backed six unicorns and 15 startups cumulatively valued at over $40 billion. 

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