Alternative credit platform BlackSoil Capital has raised $25 million (around Rs 205 crore) via bank debt, non-convertible debentures, AIF commitments and direct co-investments from banks, family offices, corporate treasuries and high-net-worth individuals.
Around 60% of BlackSoil’s existing investors took part in the latest funding exercise.
The return of a large investor base signifies the trust and confidence the company’s offerings have gained among investors, the venture debt firm said in a statement.
The fundraise is in addition to the $35 million that BlackSoil raised during the first half of the financial year 2023. Since the latest round was also closed in FY23, the platform ended up raising $60 million in the last fiscal.
"We have witnessed a strong interest from investors, and we are confident that our robust portfolio performance in the current funding winter environment will continue to attract investors in the years to come," said Ankur Bansal, co-founder of BlackSoil Capital.
Founded in 2016, BlackSoil is a sector-agnostic debt investor which lends to new-age, digital-first companies. Till date, it has deployed $270 million across 135 deals. It currently manages assets worth more than $90 million.
“We provide a bouquet of investment offerings across a range of investment participation. The returns attributable to investors would depend on the product(s) subscribed to by the investors and would usually range between 10 – 14% in IRR (internal rate of return) terms,” said Bansal.
BlackSoil’s portfolio includes investments in nine unicorns, which includes Upstox, Udaan, Zetwerk, Oyo, and Spinny among others. It has also invested in cloud kitchen major Curefoods, electric cab provider BluSmart and drone manufacturer ideaForge.
In the past several months, there has been a rise in alternative credit as equity deals are becoming tougher to crack with the overall funding slowdown in the startup ecosystem.
BlackSoil saw an 80% growth increase in leads in the last financial year as compared to FY22. However, a sharp rise in the number of incoming leads has led to a strategic drop in the conversation ratio as the platform turns more cautious.
“We are being more cautious, and underwriting deals with sustainable business models and positive unit economics vis-à-vis companies focussing on growth at any cost,” said Bansal.
Despite practising caution, BlackSoil invested more than $40 million in six deals over the first quarter of FY23, posting the highest ever 4x year-on-year (YoY) growth.
Some of the notable investments BlackSoil made in 2022 include battery swapping startup Battery Smart, Nasdaq-listed online travel aggregator Yatra.com, healthtech startup HealthPlix and fintech major MobiKwik.