Seed venture fund, Unitus has launched its second fund of $50 million to continue its investments in startups which are innovating for the masses in India. The fund will make an investment between 1 crore to 3 crores in about 50 startups from sectors including healthcare, education, mobile & consumer, retail & e-commerce, agriculture, and financial services.
Unitus Seed Fund is led by partners Dave Richards, Will Poole, Srikrishna Ramamoorthy, Ravi Venkatesan & Srikanth Iyer.
It is backed by multiple investors from India and abroad which include prominent names such as T.V. Mohandas Pai, Dr. Ranjan Pai, Vinod Khosla, Bill Gates, Steve Singh, Desh Deshpande, Romesh Wadhwani, Michael Dell, Hemendra Kothari and more.
The first fund of Unitus was established in 2012 from these investors and has almost been deployed completely. It has invested in 23 startups so far out of which eight companies raised Series A funding (first big round), two raised Series B and one startup is about to raise Series C investment.
Startups in its investment portfolio boast of a high survival rate with just three write-offs and two partial recoveries. It has backed startups like DriveU, Hippocampus, Blowhorn, iBreastExam, Jack on Block, Labinapp, AddressHealth, and BetterPlace.
The fund typically focussed on startups which can make a potential impact masses in terms of creation of jobs, incremental income generation, access to information, supply chain and efficiency.
On launching a new fund amidst a slowdown in VC funding in India,Will Poole, co-founder and managing partner of Unitus said,
At a time when there is a pullback by some investors, it is important that we have money to help our companies survive with follow-on funding.
He also added that they would continue their selective choice of startups for their investment like they had selected 23 startups out of 2000 for investing from the first fund.
We avoid ‘me-too’ startups and ask entrepreneurs to conserve capital,
The new fund will be raised from existing investors with increased proportion from the Indian investors who had contributed one-third of the first round. Unitus expects to receive the first part of the new fund by the third quarter of this calendar year.