Early-stage venture capital firm Stellaris Venture Partners has marked the close of its second fund at $225 million which is much higher than it had targeted, supported by existing limited partners or backers as well as other global institutions.
Global institutional capital forms 80% of the capital base of the second fund and the remaining was raised from founders based in India and US. It did a first close in April and was fully subscribed within 45 days.
With this fund which has International Finance Corporation as a limited partner, Stellaris Venture Partners now has more than $300 million in assets under management.
In April 2021, VCCircle had reported that personal care brand Mamaearth is in advanced discussions with Belgium-based Sofina SA to provide exits for two early-stage venture capital funds including Stellaris.
Then in July VCCircle reported that Sofina SA will invest around Rs 202 crore ($27 million) in the personal care brand.
Stellaris has invested in 19 startups after raising its $90 million maiden fund in 2017, including online consumer brand Mamaearth, software firm Whatfix, mFine, Slintel, Loadshare and others.
“In the past four years, Stellaris has built a specialist, depth-oriented investment model that allows us to take early bets in new areas. Whether it is Healthcare AI with mFine or D2C brands with Mamaearth, we have developed conviction ahead of the curve and have been able to back market leaders in emerging categories,” said Rahul Chowdhri, partner, Stellaris Venture Partners.
Stellaris expects to make 25-30 new investments in seed and Series A rounds of technology companies from the new fund. It has started investing capital from the second fund with commitments to four startups so far. The firm most recently invested in direct-to-consumer lifestyle brand Zouk.
“India’s venture ecosystem has come of age over the last few years with large exits and a massive increase in the volume and quality of new startups. The larger second fund gives us dry powder to tap into this growing opportunity with an ability to back entrepreneurs with more capital and support them for longer. We keep a large reserve for our best-performing portfolio companies and back them through 3-4 funding rounds,” Chowdhri added.
Stellaris was founded in 2016 by three former partners of Helion Ventures- Ritesh Banglani, Alok Goyal and Chowdhri.
In the second fund, the firm has expanded the Stellaris Founder Network, the group of India’s top technology entrepreneurs that it leverages for deal sourcing, diligence and portfolio support.
Roughly 20% of the capital of the new fund is contributed by members of this network. Chowdhri said, “Indian startups have a thriving “pay it forward” culture, with successful entrepreneurs helping new founders with their time, network, expertise and capital. We offer all this to our portfolio entrepreneurs in a structured form through the Stellaris Founder Network. Some of our most successful portfolio companies like Mamaearth, mFine and Slintel were introduced to us by members of this network, and we look forward to strengthening our engagement with this group in Fund 2.”