Gurugram-based Fluid Ventures said Thursday it has hit the first close of its consumer-focused venture capital fund at Rs 25 crore ($3.5 million).
The early-stage micro-VC fund has a target corpus of Rs 80 crore, including a greenshoe option. It will chase direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands in food and beverages, beauty, personal care, lifestyle and home products.
“Currently, India has one D2C unicorn startup, while there are 20 such startups in the world right now. With this initiative, we hope to open the playing field for more such success stories and encourage large investors to back startups the way they do so in the equity market,” said Dhianu Das, general partner, Fluid Ventures.
The fund is registered with the Securities and Exchange Board of India as a Category-I alternative investment fund. It is a joint effort by Startup Buddy Services and Agility Ventures.
The fund intends to invest in 15 to 18 emerging brands over the next three years by participating in seed, pre-Series A and Series A rounds with a cheque size of up to Rs 4 crore and follow-up rounds.
Fluid Ventures is co-led by Das and Amit Singal.
Singal is a chartered accountant who was serving as CEO of Startup Buddy Services till March this year. Das ran a talent spotting platform for music and entertainment artists. He had previously also founded Luxury Ride, a retail venture for second-hand luxury cars. He is also CEO of Agility Venture Partners.
The two partners have in the past been involved with investments in startups like PeeSafe, Junio, eBikeGo, Chqbook, Neeman Shoes, Akiva Superfoods, Power Gummies and Vanity Wagon. They have exited from BurgerSingh, Carmesi, Infeedo, GoMechanic and ClearDekho.
A number of micro-VCs have raised or are out in the market to raise funds. Last week, Artha Venture Fund announced the final close of its debut fund at a little over Rs 220 crore ($30 million), having exercised a greenshoe option to accommodate more investors than its original target.
It is chasing business-to-business (B2B), business-to-consumer (B2C), D2C sectors and D2C enablers.
In April, Speciale Invest said it overshot its target for its second fund garnering Rs 120 crore ($16 million), a fifth more than what it had envisaged. It is now looking at a hard cap for the fund at Rs 140 crore.
Speciale Invest had raised Rs 60 crore in its first fund in 2018. It backed 14 companies across fields like enterprise software, software-as-a-service, and frontier technologies.