Venture debt firm Stride Ventures has announced the close of its second Stride Ventures India Fund II at $200 million. The fund saw its first close in August 2021. Similar to the first, the second fund witnessed participation from leading banks, marquee family offices, corporate treasuries, sovereign funds, PE funds, insurance firms, and HNIs contributing to its success.
Founded in 2019 by Ishpreet Singh Gandhi, Stride provides comprehensive solutions, going beyond venture debt, to cater to the distinctive challenges faced by high-growth startups, backed by leading VCs.
The firm currently has a diversified portfolio with investments of over Rs 1,600 crore in more than 70 companies across consumer, fintech, agritech, B2B commerce, healthtech, B2B SaaS, mobility and energy solutions.
According to the debt investor, the capital needs of the Indian startup founders have evolved significantly over the years. Stride Ventures, through its alternative financing structures, attempts to address this by collaborating closely with founders and fundamentally sound businesses supported by notable venture capitalists. Stride also has a joint-lending structure with leading banks in the country.
The fund’s current portfolio includes names like CredAvenue (Yubi), MyGlamm, Zepto, BluSmart, Uni, Upstox, WayCool, MensaBrands, MediBuddy, Wiz Freight, Perfios, Moneyview, VideoVerse, Chalo and Groyyo amongst others.
“Stride Ventures has already committed a large portion of the fund in industry leading startups and our goal is to continue being a preferred lender while developing innovative alternate financing solutions for founders. Aligned to our mission of truly empowering the Indian startup ecosystem’s ambitions, we have effectively enabled them to scale their businesses whilst parallelly giving industry best returns to our investors,” Gandhi, founder and managing partner at Stride Ventures, said.
Recently, as late and growth-stage capital has dried up due to a funding slowdown, many startups have rushed to raise debt capital to extend their operating runways, especially to finance their working capital and operational expenditure requirements. However, the majority of the venture debt investors only deploy capital in startups that have raised at least 1-2 rounds of equity capital in the past. These investors also use convertible notes as an investment instrument which allows them to convert the debt into equity shares in the future.
The venture debt fund model in India has now evolved into an acceptable standard for startup financing and has been widely adopted by every single provider across the industry. Apart from Stride, some of the most active debt investors in the space include Trifecta Capital, InnoVen Capital, and Alteria Capital.