Artha India Ventures, a Mumbai-based seed-stage investor, is reportedly planning to double its portfolio to 100 start-ups in three years. To do so, the firm is looking to float its own fund of around ₹200 crore.
As per the report, the family office of former BSE director Ashok Damani is currently in the final stages of making a formal application to market regulator Sebi for registering Artha Venture Fund.
Once set up, the fund will invest in startups across seed, pre-series A and series-A levels of growth. The fund will be registered as a Category I Alternate Investment Fund. It will carry a size of ₹200 crore with a greenshoe option of ₹100 crore.
Anirudh Damani, director at Artha India Ventures, says that they have received commitments from a bunch of Indian high net-worth individuals to make the first ₹40 crore. He is expecting to make the first close a month after the regulator grants approval.
Artha India Ventures represents a new type of investors — micro VCs, which invests small amounts in startups and being among the first backers to start-ups. It invests up to ₹50 lakh in each venture and supports these companies for up to two more rounds.
Anirudh Damani says,
Our strategy has been to cash in early and work closely with entrepreneurs, try to get involved in building the product and connect them to people in our network for the next level of growth.
We do intensive level of KPM (Key Performance Metrics) monitoring, get involved in the hiring processes and setting up the systems right from the start; this gives us a lot of information about the company and helps in due diligence.
So far, the venture capital firm has invested about $1.2 million across all its investments. It has backed about 51 start-ups till date—including mobility start-up One Way Cab, peer-to-peer lending platform LenDen Club and US-based credit score app Tala.
Anirudh Damani indicates that the firm is currently in talks with at least four early-stage companies. It plans to invest $25,000-50,000 in each and close the deals within two-three months.