Inventus India rebrands as Athera Venture, floats fourth fund

 Inventus India rebrands as Athera Venture, floats fourth fund

(From left) Athera Team: Saksham Pant (VP), Rutvik Doshi (General Partner), Swati Murarka (VP), Parag Dhol (GP), Samir Kumar (GP)

Inventus India, an early-stage venture capital firm, has rebranded itself as Athera Venture Partners and rolled out its fourth fund with a target to raise Rs 900 crore ($120 million).

The new fund is seeing interest from existing investors, financial institutions, overseas funds, and family offices, the VC firm said in a statement without disclosing the identities of the potential limited partners.

Athera said the new fund will continue its core strategy of investing in early rounds of technology-focussed companies. Its focus areas will include Internet of Things, consumer internet, mobile, SaaS, enterprise software, fintech, Web 3.0 and deep technology. The fund will invest between Rs 5 crore and Rs 45 crore, and also make follow-on investments in future rounds of startups.

Athera joins a handful of other Indian private equity and venture capital firms to rebrand. IDG Ventures India, for instance, rebranded to Chiratae Ventures in 2018 and Indian Value Fund Advisors changed to True North the year before.

Inventus Capital Partners was set up in 2006 by John Dougery, Kanwal Rekhi and Samir Kumar as a cross-border VC firm investing in the US and India. While Dougery and Rekhi are based out of the US, Kumar is part of the Athera team.

The Athera team has managed three prior funds totalling to Rs 863 crore ($136 million). This includes an oversubscribed third fund raised in 2018 with a corpus of Rs 369 crore.

Athera has an active portfolio of 23 companies. The third fund had invested in 13 technology startups. These include Playshifu, an AR-based interactive educational toys and games company; Pixxel, a space technology company; and Euler Motors, an automotive technology startup focused on commercial electric vehicles.

The VC firm’s previous India investments include PolicyBazaar, which it exited via the company’s IPO; redBus, Sokrati, Instahealth, Unbxd, Funtoot and Aasaanjobs.

Athera said its new name is a Sanskrit word that means ‘path’ and direction, and aligns with its focus of investing in Indian startups.

“With our new fund raise, we wish to literally triple down on the startup ecosystem in India,” said Rutvik Doshi, General Partner at Athera.

Sumit Upadhyaya

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