Meesho, Sharechat investor Venture Highway raises second fund
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Early-stage venture capital firm Venture Highway has raised $78.6 million (about Rs 558 crore) for its second fund that will focus on making seed investments in technology startups.

The new fund aims to invest in about 30 startups, Venture Highway said in a statement. The founder-focussed fund will invest $1 million in each startup on average, it added.

The VC firm was founded in 2015 by former Google and Microsoft executive Samir Sood. It is also advised by Neeraj Arora, a former global business head at Facebook-owned messaging app WhatsApp.

Arora was also the anchor limited partner (LP) for the VC firm’s first fund. For the second fund, the firm has roped in institutional LPs based in Silicon Valley. It didn’t disclose the identities of the LPs.

The VC firm said that, apart from providing institutional capital to startups, it firm will also offer guidance to the management teams of the ventures that it invests in from the second fund.

“Our goal is to give back to our country’s early-stage ecosystem,” said Sood. He added that he was confident about the quality of the current generation of entrepreneurs building large businesses in India.

Sood is an alumnus of the University of Chicago and Tufts University. At Google, he was the head of its South Asia and Australia mergers and acquisitions and investments division and led investments in funds such as Accel India (then known as Erasmic Venture Fund).

Firms that Venture Highway has invested in previously include startups such as payments and credits record-keeper OkCredit, online marketplace for resellers Meesho and industrial goods marketplace Moglix.

Other startups in its portfolio include Marsplay, vernacular social networking platform Sharechat, social commerce venture WMall and Internet of Things firm Stellapps Technologies Pvt. Ltd. In July last year, it invested in supply chain platform Original4Sure.

Venture Highway joins impact investor Ankur Capital in raising a new fund this year. Earlier this month, Ankur Capital said it had hit the first close of its second fund at Rs 240 crore. The fund counts CDC Group Plc, the UK’s development finance institution, and the Dutch Good Growth Fund among its LPs.

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