Artha Venture Fund (AVF) has completed the first close of its 200-crore seed fund, Artha Venture Fund I. The first close saw participation from listed companies, domestic family offices and HNIs. This is the maiden fund of Artha Group which is co-sponsored by Singularity Holdings and Artha India Ventures, the family offices of stock market veterans, Madhusudan Kela, Ashok Kumar Damani and Ramesh M Damani respectively.
AVF’s strategy is to be the first investor in early stage companies and support them through their first three rounds of capital raise. AVF is allocating between 10 & 15 crores through the lifecycle of their investment with 50-60% of the fund earmarked for follow-on rounds. The AVF team is already in the process of completing 3-4 investments by September 2018 quarter and intends to make 8-10 new investments each year.
AVF-invested startups will gain access to a global ecosystem of founders, advisors, professionals and academicians who are associated with the fund.
The A Team
AVF is founded by India’s leading seed investor, Anirudh A Damani who has been investing in startups through his family office. He has participated in over 100 rounds of funding and invested in startups like OYO Rooms, Tala, NowFloats, Exotel, Coutloot, Purplle, BabyChakra, Fynd and Mobilewalla that have delivered stellar results for their portfolio.
Anirudh is joined by Vinod Keni, ex-CFO and Partner of Aavishkaar Venture Fund and the IAN Fund. He is a leading investor whose investments include Wow Momos, Dhruva, Mobilewalla, Consure Medical and Stayzilla.
In addition, there are 2 associates working for the fund and AVF plans on increasing the size of this team.
The team is guided by a stellar advisory board comprising of well known & accomplished individuals like
- Mr Madhusudan Kela
- Ex-Chief Strategy Officer, Reliance Capital
- Dr Alfred E Osborne
- Interim Dean, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA)
- Director, Kaiser Aluminum & First Pacific Advisors
- Adv Rajesh N Gupta
- Managing Partner, SNG & Partners
Straight in for the Big Win
AVF plans on participating in LenDenClub.com’s Series A raise. It led the Pre-Series A raise for LenDenClub.com in September 2017. Since then, the investment has seen a 4x growth in the number of loans disbursed and they have geographically expanded to Bangalore, Pune and Ahmedabad. In June alone, they disbursed over 285 loans funded through 6187 investment transactions by 571 lenders.
The superlative performance of LenDenClub coupled with RBI’s legitimization of the P2P lending space by creating a new category of NBFC licenses has increased investor interest. Anirudh A Damani said, “LenDenClub is going to be a really good investment for us as I firmly believe that LenDen is at the right place, at the right time and I am certain that it will turn out to be a big winner for Artha Venture Fund.”
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