Early-stage venture fund pi Ventures, which invests in disruptive Artificial Intelligence and DeepTech startups, announced today the first closing of its second fund at INR 300Cr (USD 40 Mn). The fund was launched in March 2021 with a base target corpus of INR 565Cr (USD 75Mn) and including green shoe a target of INR 750Cr (USD 100 Mn) and is expected to close in mid 2022.
First Close is primarily driven by entrepreneurs, HNIs and family offices from across the globe. Some of the names include Binny Bansal, Varun Alagh, Samit Shetty, Rajesh Ranavat, Vikram Kailas, Anupam Mittal, Hemendra Kothari, Hitesh Oberoi, Ullas Kamath, Deep Kalra, senior leaders from IBM, Facebook, Google among others.
The fund expects to invest in about 20-25 start-ups focused on disruptive AI and other forms of deep tech across sectors including but not limited to Blockchain, Spacetech, Biotech, Material Science. pi will continue to focus on early stage (seed/ pre-Series A/Series A) investments via this fund.
Established in 2016 by Manish Singhal, pi Ventures closed its Fund I of ₹225 Cr (USD 30 Mn) in 2018. The first fund exceeded its target and was oversubscribed, with the backing of an experienced group of investors from around the globe like - CDC UK, IFC World Bank, SIDBI, ICC, Accel Partners and prominent family offices and entrepreneurs from several countries.
Fund 1 has backed 15 deep tech startups including Niramai, Pyxis, Wysa, Agnikul, Locus to name a few.
pi Ventures has pioneered Applied AI investments in India and has created a reputation as one of the foremost deeptech focused venture funds in the country. pi aims to back disruptive tech ventures that are set out to create 10x differentiated global businesses. The investment thesis has evolved from Fund 1 - Fund 2 will look at companies in the physical disruptions as well like material science, space tech, bio tech etc apart from disruptive AI. A larger corpus allows the fund to back companies deeper in their subsequent rounds.
Speaking on this development, Manish Singhal, Founding Partner at pi Ventures said, “We are excited to announce the first close of our second fund to support and boost the AI and deep-tech startup ecosystem in India amid the ongoing pandemic. The interest in our fund demonstrates the confidence of our investors in our team and our investment strategy. We will continue supporting early stage entrepreneurs in the deep tech space and we take the learnings from our first fund portfolio to scale on this now proven strategy. We are committed to looking out for talented entrepreneurs with unconventional ideas and who are creating disruptive products that solve big global fundamental problems with innovative technology backed solutions.”