Ventureast Announces First Closing of New Tech Fund, Targeting $150M; Invest in 3 Startups- Find Me A Shoe, OS Labs & a Digital-Health Startup
Ventureast Proactive Fund II will invest in seed and early stage businesses where ‘technology is a strong differentiator and not just an enabler’.
Ventureast, one of India’s longest standing early-stage Venture Capital firms, announced the first closing of their sixth fund- Ventureast Proactive Fund II (VPF2).The Fund received strong interest from existing and new investors, and targets a final closing in the next six months.
Ventureast Proactive Fund II 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 SME’s, and pure play technology ‘picks & shovels’. Ventureast expects these opportunities to emerge in fintech, enterprise applications, cloud, mobile internet, and IoT / consumer internet.
Ventureast has partnered with leading VC investors to build a ready pipeline of exciting early stage businesses over the last 12 months while fund raising activity was in full swing for VPF2. This active, collaborative approach has enabled VPF2 to hit the ground running, ie. invest in three deals concurrently with the first closing.
• Find me a Shoe offers a virtual shoe-fitting room for e-commerce businesses. The company uses cutting-edge, proprietary, computer vision technology to provide the world's first personalized virtual trial shopping experience. Customers get to create their digital foot profile on the app and find the right footwear via virtual trial shopping. Led by an ex-Intel technologist from IIMA; a serial entrepreneur and expert in Computer Vision; and, a product design major from Domus, Italy, the company graduated from the Target (USA) Accelerator Program in November 2015 and has already started working with brands and retailers in the US.
• A stealth-mode digital health company that provides personalised on-demand healthcare anytime, anywhere, via mobile devices, internet, video call and phone. The team is led by a serial entrepreneur from Silicon Valley and a US-trained Interventional Radiologist & entrepreneur. The need for confidential and easily accessible digi-healthcare is immense, and Stanford University is collaborating with the company to put global best practices into play.
• OS Labs provides a platform enabling leading handset makers and app developers to deliver a world class smartphone experience that meets the real needs of the consumers through innovation, simplification and localization. Its product offering already has a significant penetration in the Indian mobile phone market. The company is founded by IIT graduates and the senior management team includes top professionals and leading voices in the Indian smartphone industry.
Sarath Naru, Managing Partner of Ventureast said, “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. These businesses are leveraging the cloud, IOT, big data analytics/AI, mobile, etc to build unique and globally scalable solutions.”
Ventureast is one of the longest standing Venture capital fund managers in India, investing since 1997 and managing close to $400+ million. The company has a diverse portfolio of more than 100 investments in Technology, Healthcare and Clean Environment. Ventureast is possibly the only Indian Fund Manager that has dedicated funds and teams for each sector- life sciences & healthcare, and separately for technology driven businesses. Ventureast’s investments include:
• Gland Pharma: Global leader in small volume parenterals & low molecular weight heparin; built from Rs 2.5 cr sales at the time of our investment, to $1.35 Billion acquisition by Chinese major.
• Moschip: Built from zero revenues to become India’s first listed, semiconductor product company; created patented new products for laptop accessory market.
• Sresta’s 24 Mantra: An Organic ‘farm to fork’ concept; built from Rs 50 lac sales at time of our investment to close to Rs 1000 crores market value now.
• Little Eye Labs: Tools for App developers; built from ground zero to rapidly being India’s first acquisition by Facebook.
• Atyati: Agent based rural banking tech platform; Built from ground zero in just 5 years to develop a business pipeline well ahead of competitors, and acquired by NYSE listed company.
• Loylty Rewardz: No.1 consumer loyalty company with 300 million+ unique customers. Beat well-funded competitors and acquired by India’s largest payment company.
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