WaterBridge raises second VC fund; Blume hits first close of fourth fund

 WaterBridge raises second VC fund; Blume hits first close of fourth fund

Early-stage venture capital firms WaterBridge Capital and Blume Ventures have hit fundraising milestones for their new investment vehicles amid a funding boom that has benefited scores of Indian startups.

WaterBridge has marked the final close of its second fund at $150 million (Rs 1,115 crore at current exchange rates) focussed at financing Indian tech startups, founder and managing partner Manish Kheterpal said.

The second fund — the WaterBridge Ventures II Trust – was launched in 2019 and surpassed its earlier target of $100 million. It is also larger than the first fund, which was launched in 2016 and closed at $30 million in 2018.

The firm plans to strike investments at the seed to Series A stages in technology and technology-enabled startups operating in the mobile, media, telecom, ed-tech, health-tech, and fintech sectors. It has already invested in 10 companies, he said.

The second fund added new limited partners (LPs) besides seeing interest from returning LPs comprising domestic and foreign institutions, family offices from India, Southeast Asia, West Asia, and the US.

The local LPs include state-run SIDBI’s fund of funds. Retuning LPs include top executives of tech companies like IndiaMart, RateGain, BigBasket, EXL, and Teleperformance besides senior partners of funds managed by KKR, TCV, GIC, Providence and Vitruvian Partners.

In all, the VC firm has over $250 million in assets under management (AUM).

Kheterpal founded WaterBridge in 2016 along with former colleague Ashish Jain, co-founder and partner at the firm.

Blume Ventures

Meanwhile, Blume Ventures has announced the first close of its fourth fund at $105 million (Rs 780 crore).

The new fund was floated a month ago and is aiming to mark the final close at $200 million in total capital pool by March next year. Its target is double the size of the third fund, which raised $102 million.

From the latest fund, the Mumbai-based VC firm is looking to strike new deals and write bigger cheques at the pre-seed to Series A stages. A larger fund will also allow Blume to double down on its winners in further funding rounds.

The fund will continue to invest in technology-enabled startups across consumer internet, small and midsize business (SMB) marketplaces and Indian founders-led software and enterprise technology companies that have the potential to achieve worldwide reach.

Some of Blume’s portfolio companies include Unacademy, Dunzo, Purplle and Spinny.

Founded in 2010 by Karthik Reddy and Sanjay Nath, Blume raised Rs 100 crore for its debut fund in 2011 followed by its second fund in 2016 at $60 million and third fund last year.

The firm has backed more than 100 startups including TaxiForSure (acquired by Ola) and ZipDial (bought by Twitter). Its investments from the third fund include Classplus, HealthAssure, Stage3, LambdaTest, and Jai Kisan.

Ankit Doshi

The Capital Quest