Unilever Ventures, the venture capital and private equity arm of consumer goods giant Unilever, has invested Rs 65 crore ($10 million) in venture capital firm IDG Ventures India this year, according to a media report.
The investment follows a partnership that IDG Ventures India made with Unilever Ventures and Amazon Internet Services Pvt. Ltd in June to start an Innovation Program to jointly invest in startups in the consumer technology, software, health-tech and fin-tech products segments.
“Unilever Ventures is evaluating startups as part of the Innovation Programme and even otherwise for direct investments,” The Economic Times quoted a spokesperson of Hindustan Unilever, the domestic arm of Unilever, as saying.
The investment in IDG will help Unilever Ventures to evaluate more deals, according to its regulatory filing with the Registrar of Companies (RoC), the newspaper said.
Hindustan Unilever and IDG Ventures India did not respond to email queries from VCCircle seeking comment.
The Innovation Program will invest between $500,000 and $5 million in startups looking to raise seed or Series A rounds, IDG said in June.
As part of the programme, Unilever Ventures will co-invest with IDG, while the shortlisted companies will receive technology mentorship from the Amazon Internet team and value-added benefits like Amazon Web Services credits, business support, and go-to-market connects.
Sudhir Sethi, founder chairman at IDG Ventures India, had said the initiative aims to reach out to about 1,000 companies in the next two months and invest in select startups from its third fund.
Early in March, IDG Ventures India had marked the final close of its third fund, meeting its targeted corpus of $200 million (around Rs 1,332 crore).
In March this year, the VC firm had collaborated with Bangalore-based startup accelerator Axilor Ventures to find and fund early-stage startups in frontier tech sectors. The Frontier Tech Innovators Programme scouted for startups not ready for mass-market commercial adoption such as augmented reality, virtual reality, blockchain and bitcoin, artificial intelligence and deep learning.
IDG Ventures India typically invests between $500,000 and $10 million in startups. Its portfolio consists of about 65 companies including Flipkart, Lenskart, Uniphore and Zivame. It invested in nine companies last year including Little Black Book, Flyrobe, Active.ai, Pipecandy, Hansel.io and Infisecure with ticket size varying from $500,000 to $3 million.
IDG Ventures India is part of IDG Ventures, a global network of technology funds with about $7 billion in assets under management. The Indian arm of the fund was founded in 2006 by Sethi, Manik Arora, and TC Meenakshisundaram. Arora quit the firm in 2015.