The accelerator fund announces the second close of its fund at Rs 200 cr amidst the pandemic
Apoorv Ranjan Sharma, Founder, Venture Catalysts
9Unicorns, the accelerator fund of Venture Catalysts, has announced the second close of its fund at `200 crore during the pandemic on the back of growing interest among domestic and global investors to invest in early-stage Indian startups. 9Unicorns has successfully managed its second close within six months of the first close at Rs 100 crore in August last year, signalling a positive sentiment in India’s rapidly evolving startup ecosystem.
The second close witnessed massive participation from some leading global and Indian industrialists and businesses, including the country’s oldest and leading sweets and snacks manufacturer Haldiram’s that has overtaken several MNCs including Hindustan Unilever and Nestle in the packaged food segment.
Touted as India’s Y Combinator, the Mumbai-based accelerator has also raised its total corpus to Rs 500 crore by exercising a green-shoe option amidst a challenging economic environment. A green-shoe option allows any venture capital or private equity fund to raise money over its initial target corpus following massive interest received from the LPs (limited partners)/ investors.
9Unicorns is looking to raise the entire amount of Rs 500 crore over the next few months from multiple sources, including corporations, family offices, and institutions globally. The fund plans to write the first external cheque in over 100 early-stage startups in DeepTech, B2B SaaS, Media, FMCG, FinTech, InsureTech, HealthTech, EduTech, Travel, and logistics, among other sectors.
On the second close, Apoorva Ranjan Sharma, founder, Venture Catalysts, said, “Last year was indeed a great year for the startup ecosystem that witnessed the creation of 11 Unicorns. As a fund, we aim to back early-stage companies that have the potential to become billion-dollar companies in the future. I anticipate the number of unicorns in India will grow 4x, from 44 today in the next few years that provides several investors with an opportunity to be a supporting agent and ensure multiple X returns from this emerging asset class.”
He added, “We made our second close of another Rs 100 crore just within six months of the first close, a feat difficult to achieve, that too during the pandemic. We will be closing the rest of the fund soon to boost further the entrepreneur network in India, especially those in the non-metros.”