Stellaris Venture Partners, an early-stage venture capital firm founded by former top executives at Helion Venture Partners, has hit the first close of its maiden fund at $50 million (Rs 337 crore).
Stellaris will focus on early-stage technology companies and has raised half of its targeted corpus of $100 million, it said in a statement. The fund is aiming for a final close by the end of 2017.
Limited partners, or investors, in this fund include financial institutions, corporate houses, entrepreneurs and family offices in the United States, Europe and Asia, Stellaris said.
“We have assembled a strong syndicate of Limited Partners for our first fund,” said Ritesh Banglani, partner at Stellaris.
One of its LPs is Infosys Ltd. The software services firm had said in November 2016 that it had invested Rs 31.6 crore in Stellaris.
The fund said its main investment areas will include local language online services, technology-led financial inclusion, supply chain networks, vertical machine-learning applications and global software-as-a-service businesses.
Stellaris said it had created a network of 50 entrepreneurs and business professionals who would advise the VC firm on portfolios and may also co-invest with the fund.
The advisory network includes TaxiForSure founders Aprameya R and Raghunandan G, Indify founder Alok Mittal and Capillary Technologies founder Aneesh Reddy. It also includes Kanwaljit Singh, the Helion founder who subsequently started venture fund Fireside Ventures; and Neeraj Agarwal, India head of the Boston Consulting Group.
“I have worked with the Stellaris team while we were building TaxiForSure. I look forward to working with Stellaris partners to identify potential investment areas,” Raghunandan G said. Banglani worked at Helion, one of the VCs backing TaxiForSure, before the cab-hailing company was acquired by Ola.
Stellaris said it has made two Series A investments so far from its maiden fund. One of its investments was in mobile business-to-business marketplace Wydr in January.
Stellaris was started by Banglani, Rahul Chowdhri and Alok Goyal after they quit Helion. Until December 2015, the trio were managing a dozen firms under Helion's portfolio including Housing.com, Lifecell, Dentys, TrulyMadly, Whatfix, BigBasket, Shopclues and Toppr.
With Stellaris, they will compete with other established funds which are also looking at investing in technology-enabled startups. These include Saama Capital, Accel Partners and Ventureast.
Saama Capital recently raised $57 million under its third fund.
Accel Partners raised $450 million for its fifth fund in November.
Ventureast announced the first close of its tech-focussed sixth fund in October.
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