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Contrarian Drishti hits first close of angel fund at $2M, makes two investments

05 January, 2015

Impact investment firm Contrarian Drishti Partners has hit first close of its maiden angel fund Contrarian Vriddhi Fund I at Rs 15 crore ($2.4 million), the company said.

The fund has a target corpus of Rs 60 crore ($9.5 million), including a green-shoe option of Rs 30 crore. It has so far raised capital from domestic high-net-worth individuals (HNIs) but going forward it will expand its limited partners (LP) horizon to raise funds from financial institutions too.

It had received approval to register under SEBI’s AIF norms last September.

Somak Ghosh, managing partner, Contrarian Drishti Partners, said, “Our strategy is to back entrepreneurs who are passionate about developing new technologies and business models to take essential goods and services to the mass markets in India. Accelerators and incubators in various academic institutions and cities are doing excellent work in helping entrepreneurs seek their first external investors and we will continue to partner with them.”

The broad theme of the fund is to back companies addressing issues of affordability and accessibility in healthcare, education, livelihood generation, food & agri business and energy/utilities access.

Ghosh set up Contrarian Drishti Partners a year and half ago after quitting financial services firm Motilal Oswal’s private equity arm.

Initially, the firm had said it will raise a VC fund with a corpus of $50 million to invest in Series A round. However, it later refined its investment strategy and decided to invest at the angel level. Accordingly, it pruned the size of the fund to Rs 60 crore.

The firm also announced two investments it has sealed from the fund. The first is an unnamed medical devices maker for developing markets. “The company’s first product is an affordable perinatal monitoring device that can continuously record maternal and fetal vital stats ranging from heartbeat to cervical dilation, and benefit any manpower constrained setting in healthcare delivery,” the company said.

Second investment has gone to Mumbai-based taxi aggregator BookMyCab, which allows consumers to book regular black and yellow cabs online or through mobile in Mumbai. “This is the first licensed taxi aggregator operating in Mumbai and it will use the funding to expand across geographies and vehicle categories,” said Aditi Gupta, associate principal, Contrarian Drishti Partners.

Both these deals have been sealed at angel level and the ticket size is in the range of Rs 50 lakh–Rs 5 crore. “The deal size is tilted towards early end of the bracket,” Aditi said.

BookMyCab had reportedly also raised money from its existing investors Mumbai Angels and YourNest in the latest round.

Going forward, the fund will target to make two investments per quarter. It has set a timeline of six to nine months to reach final close at Rs 60 crore.

Contrarian Drishti is present in a segment which has several impact investors, including Lok Capital, Omidyar Network, Acumen and Aavishkaar to name a few.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)


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Contrarian Drishti hits first close of angel fund at $2M, makes two investments

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