Endiya Partners closes maiden fund, undershoots target corpus

Early-stage venture capital firm Endiya Partners has made the final close of its debut fund at Rs 175 crore (around $26 million), a top company executive told VCCircle.

With this, the fund joins a bunch of VC firms in India that are looking to tap the buzzing startup community in the country.

The venture capital firm had made its first close at Rs 100 crore early last year and was expecting to raise a total corpus of Rs 200 crore.

"The original plan was to raise Rs 150 crore with a green-shoe option of Rs 50 crore," said Sateesh Andra, managing director at Endiya Partners. "We could have raised more but we felt that Rs 175 crore is a good size given our focus on seed and pre-Series A deals," he said.

Endiya Partners' investors are mostly domestic entities comprising four family offices, three financial institutions, including SIDBI and LIC and select entrepreneurs, Andra said. A couple of foreign investors in the fund are entrepreneurs, he said.

The development was first reported by The Economic Times.

Andra is former managing partner of venture capital firm Ventureast and has spent roughly 16 years in the Silicon Valley, half of which as an entrepreneur. He floated Endiya Partners along with Ramesh Byrapaneni and Abhishek Srivastava. The fund was registered under capital market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India’s (SEBI) AIF norms in August 2015. 

The venture capital fund invests in technology, healthcare and consumer services and it has already made four investments. VC funds start to deploy funds after the first close.

Andra said the fund will look to invest in product startups with a global relevance.

"We would also look at startups in Silicon Valley, Singapore and other regions but that which are targeting India and other emerging markets," he explained.

“Within technology, the company is interested in software as a service (SaaS), mobile mobility and security,” said Abhishek Srivastava, director at Endiya Partners. The fund is also selectively looking at fintech, edtech and Internet of Things (IoT), he said.  

In healthcare, the fund is actively looking at virtual healthcare, an extension of the telemedicine platform, stem cell engineering and use of virtual reality in medical education, said Ramesh Byrapaneni, managing director at Endiya Partners.

"We are also keen on wearables, medical devices and usage of artificial intelligence (AI) in diagnostics," he said.

Both Srivastava and Byrapaneni were also earlier part of Ventureast before starting Endiya Partners. Vinod Dham, founder managing director of IndoUS Venture Partners, has also joined Endiya Partners as partner.

Endiya Partners' investments

So far, Endiya Partners has invested in four companies, including Gurgaon-based InnerChef, a food-tech firm.

In February 2015, the fund along with GSF Accelerator founder Rajesh Sawhney, Flipkart chief people officer Mekin Maheshwari and Tracxn Labs invested an undisclosed amount in a seed funding in Hansel Software Pvt. Ltd, which operates a toolkit for mobile app developers called Hansel.io. 

In July, Endiya Partners, along with Mohandas Pai’s family fund 3one4 Capital, Tracxn Labs and Aaruha Technology Fund, invested an undisclosed amount in seed funding in the Hyderabad-based Darwinbox, an HR software services startup. 

Later it also backed Celes Care, a Hyderabad-based virtual health clinic for women, by investing $1 million (Rs 6.7 crore) in a seed round along with a few affluent individuals.

Among the four, InnerChef and Hansel.io have gone on to raise further funds from other investors. Endiya Partners typically invests Rs 2-12 crore including follow-on rounds in a company.

Mushrooming VC funds

Early stage venture investments have been on a decline in India over the last 12 months but that has not impacted the fundraising activity. 

In November last year, Infosys Ltd said it will invest in the maiden fund of home-grown early-stage venture capital firm Stellaris Venture Partners, which was launched by three former executives at Helion Venture Partners.

In September last year, early stage venture capital firm YourNest launched its second fund, YourNest India Fund II, with a target of raising Rs 300 crore.

Besides, the founders of Mumbai-based co-working space provider and startup accelerator Z Nation Lab said last year it was planning to launch a seed-stage venture capital fund to back technology firms. 

Ventureast Fund Advisors India Ltd had announced the first close of its sixth fund—Ventureast Procative Fund II (VPF2)—at $83 million en route to a target corpus of $150 million in total Unitus Seed Fund was also looking to mark the first close of its $50 million second fund by the end of 2016.

In August, LetsVenture founder Manish Singhal floated an early stage venture fund called Pi Ventures with entrepreneur Umakant Soni.

Inventus Capital Partners, Kalaari Capital and IDG Ventures are also looking for investors for their new funds.

These VC firms are looking to replicate the success of larger peers such as Sequoia Capital, Nexus Venture Partners, SAIF Partners and Accel Partners that raised new funds for India in the last two years.

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