Mumbai-based Seedfund, the early stage venture capital fund launched in 2006, is getting bigger for sure. A few days ago, Business Standard reported saying Seedfund is raising a $30 million fund. The Economic Times today reported, quoting sources, that Seefund is on its way to raise a $50 million fund. VC Circle reached out to Mahesh Murthy, a partner of Seedfund, for his comments. Murthy expressed ignorance about the report and said he would get back with his comments.
The report also added that the fund would be invested in 15 companies. If that is true, Seedfund is looking at an average investment of $3 million from the fund II, which is much more than usual seed stage funding of $250K-$1 million. Murthy has, however, been quoted by ET as saying that the fund “would continue to fund technology-driven startups and encourage young talent”.
Seedfund currently has a $10-15 million fund, and has raised money from investors like Google, Reliance ADAG, Motorola and US based venture capital funds like Sierra Ventures and Mayfield. The individual investors in Seedfund included Kanwal Rekhi, K B Chandrasekhar, B V Jagadeesh and Sridar Iyengar. Seedfund was founded by Pravin Gandhi, Mahesh Murthy and Bharati Jacob. Seedfund’s target sectors have been internet, media, mobile, telecom, retail and other consumer-facing plays.
So far the fund has invested in nine startups like online document printing company Printo (a photo printing site), Carwale (an auto portal), Redbus (online bus-ticketing site), AgencyFAQs (online media company), Rupeetalk (a personal finance website), Healthizen (a personal health portal), Thinklabs, (robotics and embedded systems training company), Vaatsalya (an affordable hospital startup) and Uhuroo (a networking solutions provider).
Seedfund’s plans to raise another fund indicates that its strategy of backing companies at early stages have been a worthwhile epxerience. Among the companies Seedfund has backed, Printo has received Series A funding of $6.25 million from Sequoia Capital India. There could be more from the Seedfund portfolio seeking a VC round.
There are several other early stage funds which are focused on startups such as Erasmic Venture Fund which is now called Accel India after they merged with the latter (Accel India is also raising a $60 million Indifa fund). Then there are Mumbai Angels, The Chennai Fund, Indian Angel Network and Mentor Partners.