Investment platform LetsVenture’s co-founder Shanti Mohan has launched a Rs 50 crore (around $6.3 million) micro venture fund to invest in early-stage startups.
The fund, Propell, is aiming to deploy Rs 50 crore in a total of 30 startups across sectors like e-commerce, fintech, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and direct-to-consumer (D2C). The fund has already invested in 15 startups including savings and investment app Jar, social commerce app GoBillion, e-commerce player Zaamo and upskilling platform Seekho, among others.
Propell is anchored by Vikas Choudhury (president, Reliance Jio, and partner, Pivot Ventures), supported by Vivek Khare (adviser, corporate development and early-stage investments at Naukri.com) and Sudhi Herle (engineering, android platform at Google).
“I believe this is a good time to invest and work closely with founders who are building for the next billion-dollar opportunity in India. With the current slowdown, I do believe this is a great time for early-stage investors to work with founders and build sustainable business models,” said Shanti Mohan, co-founder, chief executive.
On an average, micro-VC funds have a corpus of less than $30 million and they invest in 10-15 pre-seed and seed stages of startups, rarely moving on to post-seed. As per a recent report by IVCA, AWS, and Praxis Global Alliance, the number of micro-VC funds in India has increased to 88 in 2020 from 29 in 2014.
The fund’s launch comes at a time when early-stage funding is continuing to increase, specifically in seed and Series A stages.
In one of the most recent instances of a fund’s pivot towards early-stage investment, B Capital, backer of unicorns such as BlackBuck and Meesho, closed its first dedicated early-stage fund at $250 million. The multi-stage investor plans to invest across sectors like healthcare, SaaS, fintech and logistics in US and Asia.
Earlier this week, Mumbai-based early-stage backer First Cheque raised Rs 38 crore for its second fund, which it intends to invest in 50 startups over the next 18 months.
Another early-stage venture capital firm, Auxano Capital is set to mark the final close of its $25 million angel fund, a top executive told VCCircle this week.