Artha Venture Fund leads seed funding for extra-curricular startup HobSpace
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HobSpace, a platform that organises extra-curricular activities for kids, has raised a seed round of funding led by early-stage micro venture capital firm Artha Venture Fund.

Artha Venture Fund said in a statement it has invested Rs 1.5 crore ($204,800).

Others that participated in this round include investment crowdfunding platform AngelList India, Bengaluru-based early-stage VC firm Upsparks and Icebreaker Tech LLP. Siddharth Bhaskar Shah of Ascent Health also pooled in capital.

HobSpace, which is operated by Eduk8 Learning Labs Pvt Ltd, was founded last year by Priya Goel Sheth and Harsh Jain. 

The startup aims to use school buildings, playgrounds, building clubhouses, and community centres for extra-curricular activities for kids after their school activities. 

During the lockdown, the startup focused on an online-only model and tapped into international markets like the US, Singapore, Nepal, and the UAE, it said. However, it plans to bump up its offline centres to reach out to the top 20 towns over the next year.  

Anirudh A Damani, managing partner at Artha Venture Fund, said that the space has vast potential and what he likes about the founders is their focus on unit economics and business viability.

Prior to co-founding HobSpace, Sheth worked at VC-backed online pharmacy chain PharmEasy, co-owned by her husband Dharmil Sheth. 

She had previously worked at Goldman Sachs and S&P Capital IQ. Jain was with consulting firm McKinsey before founding HobSpace. He has previously worked at ICICI Bank and TCS.  

Konduru was chief technology officer at fish and meat e-tailer Licious. He was a founding member of RedBus, which was acquired by Ibibo Group in 2013. He went on to work with other VC-backed startups such as PharmEasy and Housejoy.

Artha Venture Fund

Artha Venture Fund is backed by Singularity Holdings and the family office of former BSE director Ashok Kumar Damani.

In an interaction with VCCircle published in June, Anirudh A Damani, managing partner, Artha Venture Fund, said it is facing a delay in hitting the final close of its debut fund due to the coronavirus pandemic and hopes to finish the exercise by the end of this year.

The VC firm had marked the second close of the fund at over Rs 100 crore last year. Its overall target is Rs 200 crore.

He also added that Artha Venture Fund may dip into the fund’s greenshoe option to raise a larger amount.

In August, the fund led a pre-Series A funding round for its existing portfolio food-tech startup Daalchini.

In July, the fund backed a mobility platform for kids, Piggy Ride, in its eight bet.

The fund's other investments include online peer-to-peer lending platform LenDenClub, mini-cinema chain Jadooz and space-tech startup Agnikul.

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