New Delhi: Venture capital firm Ventureast has set up a new fund, under which it aims to raise about $150 million, for funding seed and early stage tech-led businesses.
'Ventureast Proactive Fund II (VPF2)' is expected to make the final closing in the next six months and has seen strong interest from existing and new investors.
"VPF2 will invest in seed and early stage businesses where technology is a strong differentiator and not just an enabler.
The emphasis is on relatively unaddressed sectors such as rural and semi-urban markets, needs of the SMEs, and pure play technology 'picks and shovels'," Ventureast said.
It is eyeing opportunities in fintech, enterprise applications, cloud, mobile internet, and IoT / consumer internet segments.
Ventureast has partnered with leading VC investors to build a ready pipeline of early stage businesses over the last 12 months while fund raising activity was in full swing for VPF2.
Under VPF2, Ventureast has already invested in three startups - Find me a Shoe (virtual shoe-fitting room solution for e-commerce businesses), a digital health company and OS Labs (a platform enabling handset makers and app developers to
deliver a world class smartphone experience).
While it has invested $7 million in OS labs, it pumped in $1.5 million in Find Me a shoe and $2 million in the digital health company.
"We continue to invest in businesses where capital is not the primary competitive advantage, but 'technology' is. While huge investments have been made in tech businesses over the last five years chasing the 'firstest with the mostest' strategy, the emphasis today is on the kind of startups where technology will be the primary differentiator," Ventureast Managing Partner Sarath Naru said.
He added that these businesses are leveraging the cloud, Internet of Things, big data analytics/AI, mobile, etc to build unique and globally scalable solutions.
Ventureast's previous investments include Gland Pharma, Moschip, Sresta's 24 Mantra, Little Eye Labs, Atyati and Loylty Rewardz.
The firm had introduced its first fund in 1997 which was worth $9 million, followed by a Biotech Fund in 2006 of $38 million.
In 2007, it invested in companies like Cecilia, Bioserve, Evolva and Itero under the $14 million TeNeT Fund. It introduced 2 new funds in 2008 ($108 million) and 2011 ($94 million).