GVFL Ltd, which is currently raising its SME Technology Venture Fund with a target of Rs 250 crore, has achieved first close at Rs 100 crore. The fund will get another Rs 60 crore in next few months, the firm's interim Managing Director Mihir Joshi said in an interview to VCCircle. Joshi has been appointed after long standing MD Vishnu Varshney stepped down from his post. Joshi is heading the fund till a new MD is found.

GVFL has raised about Rs 133 crore over five funds till date, and the new fund is its sixth vehicle. The target size of the new fund is nearly more than double the size of all the previous five funds combined. The dramatic increase in the fund size is because the new fund will focus on growth capital investments.

Till now GVFL has focused on early stage deals, investing between Rs 2-10 crore per deal. With the new fund, its deal sizes will go up. GVFL raises most of its funds from domestic institutions and its limited partners include institutions like CDC, IDBI, SIDBI, World Bank and other private and public sector organizations.

Stepping Up Investments

GVFL now seems be looking to step up investments and Joshi believes that this is the best time to invest. "We may close 2-3 more deals in next one month," he added.

The fund is looking to do deals in areas like information technology, biotech and nano technology. It will look at areas like healthcare and education in the IT domain, said Joshi. Some of GVFL's recent deals were white light emitting diode (LED) solar lighting systems maker Pegasus Semiconductors. One of its portfolio firms, 20 Microns, also listed on exchanges in October last year, in which the firm offloaded a part stake.

GVFL is one of the most active and largest state government-backed venture capital firms in the country. Other such VC firms include Punjab Infotech Venture Fund, Kerala Venture Capital Fund, Hyderabad Information Technology Venture Enterprise Ltd, Rajasthan Venture Capital Fund, etc.

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