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Exclusive: Unicorn to invest $800K in four tech startups

Anil Joshi, co-founder & Managing Partner, Unicorn India Ventures

Anil Joshi, co-founder &
Managing Partner, Unicorn India Ventures

Unicorn India Ventures, an early stage venture capital fund that is focused on B2B startups in the SMAC (social media, analytics and cloud) sector, has zeroed down on four startups for its first fund.

Anil Joshi, managing partner of Unicorn India Ventures, said that the firm has committed close to $800,000 (Rs 5.3 crore) to invest in startups that operate in the space of beauty & wellness, digital media, cloud and healthcare, respectively.

“We have an average ticket size of $150,000-200,000 and will soon formally close the deal,” said Joshi.

Unicorn has achieved its first closure for its maiden early-stage VC fund, sources said.

It has marked a first close at Rs 40 crore ($6 million) as against its original plan of Rs 60 crore ($9 million) and may now go for more interim closures before it completes the fund raising process by the middle of next year, the sources mentioned above said.

However, Joshi declined to comment on the fundraising process

One person privy to the development told VCCircle, “The firm would have had a longer waiting period to start investing to reach the previous target and that would have meant holding up and delaying the lined up investments.”

The final paperwork for Unicorn’s fundraising milestone is pending, the source added.

PE and VC firms start investing after reaching the ‘first close’ or the initial fundraising milestone.

In August, VCCircle had reported that the firm has launched its maiden early stage fund with a targeted corpus of Rs 150 crore.

While B2B &B2C startups in the SMAC space would be the main focus of the fund, Joshi added Unicorn is also looking at startups in the fin-tech and IoT (internet of things) space. The investment size would start with a minimum of $100,000 and go upto a maximum of $2 million depending on the round.

“We believe the next disruption will come from the financial services space and may close one in the IoT in the next couple of months,” said Joshi who added that the company will look to go for its second fund by mid-2018.

Unicorn India Ventures was founded by Anil Joshi and Bhaskar Majumdar early this year. Prior to launching this fund, Joshi was heading operations at Mumbai Angels and Bangalore Angels. He has also held several portfolios at companies including Century Rayon, BK Birla Group Company and Transasia Biomedical Ltd and headed new projects and investment in startups with telecom, IT and energy-focused Artheon Group.

Majumdar has held senior corporate positions with Times Group, Zee Telefilms and Altavista UK. In 2000, he started his entrepreneurial venture with digital media company Recreate Solutions which was later sold to a US systems integrator.

Majumdar graduated from IIT Kharagpur and is also a Harvard alumnus.

At least 15 India-focused early stage funds have launched or raised funding in 2015, according to VCCEdge, the data research platform of VCCircle. These include Kalaari Capital, Lightspeed India Partners, Helion Venture Partners, Orios Venture Partners and Peesh Venture Capital.

Another VC firm that has just achieved first close of its fund is Blume Ventures

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