YourNest floats second early-stage VC fund with $45 mn target corpus

Early-stage venture capital firm YourNest has launched its second fund, YourNest India Fund II, with a target corpus of Rs 300 crore ($45 million).

The Fund II will focus on pre-Series A funding of about 25-30 technology startups over the next 3-4 years. YourNest will focus on sectors including Internet of Things, electronic system design, artificial intelligence, advanced robotics, enterprise software and mobile Internet.

YourNest founder and CEO Sunil K Goyal said, “We firmly believe that the best in the Indian startup world is yet to come. Our belief is strengthened by the large number of Indian corporate leaders, and change makers, who have joined us as investors. Early stage investing will continue to be our forte; with our team of seasoned advisors, four dedicated fund managers and a growing pool of mentors and active investors, we plan to build on the momentum created with the first fund."

It has also appointed technology veteran Vivek Mansingh—who had earlier worked with technology giants like Cisco, Dell, HP—as a general partner, YourNest said in its statement. 

Mansingh is also an investor in YourNest’s first fund, YourNest Angel Fund I that had a corpus of Rs 90 crore. In the last two years, he has incubated five technology startups and is engaged with several YourNest portfolio companies. 

“I have been an angel investor and advisors to VCs for over 20 years. The reason I have decided to join YourNest is to realize my passion to engage with early stage startups and founders to co-create successful global businesses," Mansingh said.

YourNest was founded in April 2011 by Sunil K Goyal, Sanjay Pande and Girish Shivani. In December 2014, Religare Global Asset Management picked 26% stake in YourNest Angel Fund. However, according to Goyal: "With Religare, we had a great association. They helped us raise our first fund, strengthened our fund governance practices with their global asset management experience." Currently, YourNest's stakes are owned by four general partners, which includes all three founders and Mansingh. 

The first fund launched in 2012 saw subscription from 144 individual investors as well as three institutional investors, including SIDBI’s India Opportunity Fund, IIFL Seed Ventures and Northgate Capital (a silicon valley based $5 billion Fund of Funds).

Through its first fund, Yournest has so far backed 16 startups including Uniphore Software, mycity4kids, Rubique, Arya.ai, Smart Software Testing Solutions Inc, Simpli5d, SmartQ, seeDoc, Fashalot, aahaa stores, MoMark, and GolfLAN.

Early stage venture capital funding has been on the decline in India, even as new venture funds have cropped up.

Earlier this month, the founders of Mumbai-based co-working space provider and startup accelerator Z Nation Lab said they are planning to launch a seed-stage venture capital fund to back technology firms. Zsolt Capital plans to raise up to $15 million (Rs 100 crore) from investors in India and the US.

Last month, TechCircle reported LetsVenture founder Manish Singhal floating an early stage venture fund called Pi Ventures with entrepreneur Umakant Soni. According to Pi Ventures’ website, some of the investors and advisors in the fund include Bhupen Shah, Badal Malick, Raghu Tarra and Sanjeev Bhikchandani.

Maitreyi Capital, a business advisory firm floated by former executives of Aditya Birla Private Equity and Reliance Jio Infocomm, has garnered an initial commitment from investors for its maiden private equity fund to back digital technology companies in India. The firm is aiming to raise as much as Rs 1,500 crore ($222 million) under.

In April, angel investors Naganand Doraswamy and Prashant Deshpande launched Ideaspring Capital, which is backed by Arihant and Amit Patni. The fund will invest up to $450,000 (around Rs 3 crore) in early-stage tech startups, besides participating in pre-Series A/Series A funding rounds where it will pump in up to $750,000 (around Rs 5 crore) as a co-investor.

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