Policybazaar backer Inventus raises $52 mn for third venture capital fund
Photo Credit: VCCircle

Inventus Capital Partners has hit the final close on its third venture capital fund, as the India-focussed early-stage investment firm gears up to expand its bets on local startups.

The India- and US-based firm raised Rs 369 crore ($52 million) for the third fund, general partner Parag Dhol told VCCircle on Thursday. Domestic limited partners (LPs), or investors, contributed around 75% to the total corpus, he added.

Inventus had hit the road to raise the fund in late 2016. It had aimed to raise at least Rs 325 crore and up to Rs 125 crore more, VCCircle reported last year. Dhol said the fund marked the first close last year at around Rs 200 crore.

The third fund’s size is half of the second fund. The VC firm had raised about $52 million for the first fund in 2008 and $106 million for the second vehicle in 2013. Both funds invested in Indian and American startups.

However, the firm spliced up its latest fund to make it an India-dedicated investment vehicle. Inventus India is led by general partners Dhol, Rutvik Doshi and Samir Kumar.

The VC firm typically participates in pre-Series A and Series A funding rounds, and prefers to invest in domains such as consumer Internet, software-as-a-service, Internet of Things, machine learning and fintech. “While largely sector-agnostic, we would like to see additional investments in IoT/hardware from this fund,” Dhol said.

The new fund is likely to invest Rs 5-15 crore in a total of 15-16 companies. “We expect to complete making new investments from this fund over the next two to three years,” Dhol said.

The third fund has already backed five startups—Worxogo, BluArmor Helmets, Little Black Book, Koinearth and Playshifu. From the previous funds, it has invested in companies such as Policybazaar, Power2SME, Healthifyme, Truebil and PeelWorks.

Some of its portfolio companies have attracted strategic interest from international players. Inventus exited bus-ticketing venture redBus when it was acquired by South African media conglomerate Naspers’ Indian arm, ibiboGroup. In 2011, another portfolio company, offshore developer Sierra Atlantic, was scooped up by Hitachi Consulting.

VC fundraising

Inventus joins a number of India-focussed funds in hitting fundraising milestones this year.

In May, for instance, homegrown venture capital firm Nexus Venture Partners received commitments from a few more LPs for its fifth fund that has a target corpus of $450 million.

Also in May, Endiya Partners marked the first close of its second fund at $40 million. Vertex Venture Holdings Ltd, an early-stage venture capital firm backed by Singapore's Temasek Holdings, and Japanese VC firm GREE Ventures also announced fundraising milestones the same month.

Early-stage VC firm Artha Venture Fund marked the second close of its debut fund at more than Rs 100 crore in June.

Other VC firms that have announced fundraising milestones this year include impact investor Omnivore Capital Management Advisors Pvt. Ltd, deep-technology and B2B-focussed VC firm StartupXseed Ventures LLP, early-stage venture capital firm 3one4 Capital and Entrepreneur First.

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