Speciale Invest, a venture capital firm focused on early-stage investments in deep tech and software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies, has reached mid-way for its Rs 200 crore ($24.3 million) Speciale Invest Growth Fund I.
The VC firm has already raised an initial investment of Rs 100 crore ($12.2 million) for the fund which will invest in Series A and above funding rounds of its portfolio startups. It has also received approval from the market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi).
The fund is expected to mark its final close in the next two quarters, Speciale Invest’s managing partner Vishesh Rajaram told VCCircle in an interaction. “Both existing and new limited investors have backed the growth fund. The fund is largely backed by domestic investors.”
“Some of the new investors have come in the growth fund with a smaller corpus, primarily to track our performance so that they can invest in its third fund as and when it happens,” said Rajaram.
The VC firm will invest in about 10 companies from the growth fund, with an initial average ticket size of Rs 10-20 crore. It is yet to make its debut investment in the new vehicle.
“With an initial investment of Rs 100 crore and plans to increase it further in the coming months, we look forward to partnering with promising startups and providing them with the resources and guidance they need to achieve their full potential. We see immense opportunities in the startup ecosystem in India and would continue to empower the young change-makers in our capacity, " said Arjun Rao, general partner at Speciale Invest.
Speciale Invest was founded in 2017 by Rajaram and Arjun Rao. The VC firm invests in pre-seed and seed rounds of deep-science and tech companies, with a focus on emerging technology areas such as spacetech, aerospace, green hydrogen, robotics, batteries, quantum-tech, AI-led SAAS, dev tools, data infrastructure, and large language model (LLM) applications/infrastructure, amongst others.
Its portfolio includes Ultraviolette, Agnikul Cosmos, ePlane Company, Cynlr, Qnu Labs, Galaxeye Space, Uravu Labs, NewTrace, e-TRNL Energy, Wingman, StreamAlive, Airboxr, Trainn, and more.
"Deep science and enterprise technologies have the power to revolutionize industries and solve some of the world's most pressing problems. Our newly launched Growth Fund I is a testament to our commitment to investing in high-potential technology startups, and we look forward to working closely with founders building for the world from India," said Rajaram.
Speciale Invest raised its first fund of Rs 60 crore in 2018. The vehicle invested in 18 companies with an average deal size of sub-$0.5 million and scored five early exits.
In April last year, the firm announced the final close of its second fund at Rs 300 crore, with plans to invest in more than 20-22 early-stage companies through pre-seed and seed rounds. The average cheque size ranged from $500,000 to $1 million.