IFC commits $10 mn to Stellaris’ debut venture capital fund
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International Finance Corporation (IFC) plans to invest $10 million (Rs 64.6 crore) in the first fund of Stellaris Venture Partners, an early-stage venture capital firm founded by former top executives at Helion Venture Partners.

Stellaris, which made the first close of its fund at $50 million in January, is expecting the next close in June, the World Bank's private-sector arm said in a statement. The fund has a target corpus of $100 million.

The fund—Stellaris Venture Partners India I—seeks to focus primarily on Series A and pre-Series A investments in technology and technology-enabled companies in India.

It has already made two investments, in mobile business-to-business (B2B) marketplace Wydr and software-as-a-service platform Whatfix.

The venture firm counts Infosys Ltd as one of its limited partners (LPs), or investor. The software services firm had said in November 2016 that it had invested Rs 31.6 crore in Stellaris.

Stellaris had also said that other LPs include financial institutions, corporate houses, entrepreneurs and family offices in the United States, Europe and Asia without identifying them.

IFC's LP bets

IFC has both a direct investment practice and indirect exposure to Indian firms as an LP to local private equity and VC funds.

In March, IFC said it planned to invest $3 million in Bengaluru-based early-stage venture fund Pi Ventures.

The World Bank arm also proposed to invest $20 million in IDG Ventures India’s third India-focused fund in January.

IFC's string of investments in VC funds comes at a time when several other venture capital firms in the country have also mobilised funds or are in the process of doing so.

In recent times, early-stage venture capital firm Endiya Partners made the final close of its debut fund at Rs 175 crore (around $26 million).

Inventus Capital Partners and Kalaari Capital have also been 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 past two years.

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