Stellaris gets IFC on board as limited partner for second VC fund
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International Finance Corporation, the World Bank’s private-sector investment arm, is coming in as a limited partner for the second venture capital fund of Stellaris Venture Partners.

IFC plans to invest up to $25 million (about Rs 185 crore) in Stellaris Venture Partners India Trust II, it said in a disclosure.

The new fund focuses primarily on seed and Series A investments in Indian technology-enabled companies and is targeting $160 million in total commitments, IFC said.

The fund plans to invest in 20-25 companies across healthcare, education, financial services, logistics, consumer internet and enterprise technology sectors.

Stellaris, an early-stage venture capital firm, had hit the road to raise the second fund earlier this year, VCCircle reported in May.

At the time, VCCircle reported that Stellaris expected some of its existing Limited Partners (LPs), or investors, in the debut fund to commit capital for its new fund. IFC, the investment arm of technology giant Cisco Systems Inc and software services company Infosys Ltd were among its LPs for the first fund.

Stellaris was started by Alok Goyal, Ritesh Banglani and Rahul Chowdhri after they quit Helion Venture Partners in 2015. Its portfolio includes logistics-tech startup Loadshare, social commerce startup Shop101, fast-moving consumer goods brand Mamaearth, marketing intelligence startup Slintel, last-mile ride-sharing service Loca Rides and education financing platform Propelld.

IFC is one of the most active private investors in India, and makes both direct debt and equity bets on companies. It also backs private equity and venture capital funds as a limited partner.

This year alone IFC has made LP-style bets on a number of funds. In October, for instance, it said that it would make a debt investment of up to Rs 550 crore in a warehousing fund of industrial real estate developer IndoSpace.

In August, early-stage VC firm Endiya Partners said it had received a commitment of $10 million from IFC for direct co-investment deals. This was in addition to the $10 million that IFC proposed to invest in Endiya’s second fund.

IFC’s other LP-style bets include a proposal in April to invest $10 million in a new PE fund of India Alternatives.

Last year, IFC said it planned to invest $20 million in VC firm Chiratae Ventures’ new fund, $25 million in the second fund of healthcare-focused PE firm Quadria Capital, and $12 million in Accion Quona Inclusion Fund.

IFC also proposed to come in as an LP in the debut VC fund of investment firm A91 Partners, floated by former executives at Sequoia Capital. A91 Partners exceeded the corpus target for the debut fund last year.

Also read: Has World Bank arm IFC’s exposure to India peaked out?

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