DarwinBox backer StartupXseed’s second VC fund oversubscribed

 DarwinBox backer StartupXseed’s second VC fund oversubscribed

Early-stage venture capital firm StartupXseed Ventures said Monday it has hit the final close of its second fund after garnering Rs 243 crore, a fifth more than what it was aiming for.

The VC firm, which chases startups in the deep-tech B2B space, said the Aaruha Technology Fund II received capital commitments from family offices and corporate houses. It also got commitments from the first fund’s investors, most of whom doubled their commitments.

The VC fund said it has already returned substantial capital to investors of Fund I. The first fund had made a final close at a modest level of Rs 50 crore.

StartupXseed’s portfolio includes companies such as DarwinBox, CloudSEK, Bellatrix and Aarav Unmanned Systems.

BV Naidu, Managing Partner at StartupXseed, said the firm’s average markup of past investments is more than 6x. He also said that a couple of limited partners doubled their commitment at final close after seeing similar growth indicators on Fund II portfolio.

Ravi Thakur, co-founding partner of the fund, said the VC firm primarily looks at solutions where “the convergence of new business models and technologies is imperative”.

“This way, we are helping ourselves in working on next big verticals ahead of the curve,” Thakur said.

The VC firm’s existing general partners for Fund II include Naidu and Thakur, as well as Sid Mookerji, Ramakrishna V, TV Mohan Das Pai and V. Balakrishnan.

In addition, StartupXseed added Krishna Mikkilineni, ex-CTO and board member of Honeywell Inc, as a GP.

StartupXseed said it is looking to invest in startups with innovations in technologies related to cloud migration of brownfield projects, AI-led workflow automation, energy storage technologies for quick discharge applications, cybersecurity for APIs, AI-led ecommerce enablers and others disruptive technologies.

Its typical first cheque size will be between Rs 5-12 crore. Its early investment in DarwinBox is said to have scaled up 100x as the HR-tech startup entered the unicorn club this year.

Last month, it exited a portfolio company via a cross-border acquisition.


Vivek Sinha

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