Two-year-old, New Delhi-based venture capital firm Stride Ventures announced on Tuesday that it is launching its second debt fund, Stride Ventures India II, with a targeted corpus of ₹1,000 crores (nearly $137 million), as well as a greenshoe option to raise an additional ₹875 crore, the investment firm said in a statement. Combined, the firm has a target corpus of about ₹1875 crore.
Stride Ventures added that it would continue to invest in early to late-stage start-ups in the country with ticket size from the new fund expected to go up to ₹70 crores. The new fund will have a commitment period of four years within which the capital will be deployed and recycled. With the targeted corpus, it also expects to recycle ₹3,000 crores total debt funding in Indian start-ups over a period of four years, offering multifaceted credit solutions to its portfolio companies.
The pandemic, which has caused a lot of harm to many sectors during its stay, has not proved to be a detrimental factor to Stride, whose fund served as a good diversification for the allocation of the assets of their investors, having continued to post strong and consistent returns. The firm recorded increased great interest from all our existing investors and is looking at onboarding new investors as well for Fund II.”
It had closed its maiden fund earlier this year after it had not only reached its initial target corpus of ₹350 crores but exceeded it, funding more than 20 companies, including start-ups Pocket Aces, Miko, SUGAR Cosmetics, Infra.market, Spinny, Home Lane, Zetwerk and Bizongo.
Ishpreet Gandhi, Founder and Managing Partner, Stride Ventures, said, “We are extremely proud to have partnered with leading founders, and would continue to support them in every step of the way as we take a leap into the second fund. As founders become increasingly aware of the debt and alternative capital for non-dilutive structures, our deployments have grown considerably as we partner with fundamentally strong companies.” The firm has already disbursed over ₹200 crores since January 2021.
While the two-year-old Stride Ventures is a sector agnostic investor, it will look to invest primarily in B2B (business-to-business) commerce and SaaS, consumer, healthtech, fintech, agritech, and others. And like the first fund, the latest fund is sure to attract Limited Partner (LP) interest from large family offices, sovereign funds, private equity funds, insurance firms, and high net worth individuals (HNIs) across India, Singapore, and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
The venture debt sector in India was one that remained in the shadows for a long time, largely dominated by InnoVen Capital and Trifecta Capital until recently. The sector shot into prominence in 2019, the same year in which Stride Ventures entered the arena, and while it is a relatively young entity, it has shown the potential to succeed and compete with the leaders of the industry.