Mumbai-based Artha Group has launched a Rs 450 crore winners-only micro VC fund, Artha Select Fund (ASF). Several investors have backed it.
This includes the Pune-based Kirloskar Family Office, the family office of former Reliance Capital CIS Madhusudan Kela, Abhinav Sinha, managing director of British International Investment, Narendra Karnavat of CA firm Karnavat and Co., Jashvant Raval of JCR & Co, Varun Bansal of Jayashree Polymers, Rajiv Lakhotia of Shree Karni Fabcom.
Abhinav Sinha will also join the investment committee at ASF; he was already an internal committee member at the Artha Venture Fund (AVF).
ASF will back start-ups from Artha’s portfolio in their follow-on rounds. The fund will commit up to Rs 20 crores in the Series B round and an additional Rs 20 crores in the Series C round in start-ups where Artha is already an investor. ASF will back 12-14 start-ups through this vehicle.
Chris Kolenaty, head of private investments at the Kirloskar Family Office, said, “Over the last decade, the Kirloskar family has built an understanding of assessing private companies, opportunities, and entrepreneurs through venture investing. I met Anirudh 8 years ago in Dublin and stayed in touch with him as he grew the Artha portfolio. We became increasingly comfortable with Anirudh during AVF’s second close and decided to hit go this time.”
Anirudh Damani, managing partner of ASF, added, “We see early-growth rounds as an amazing investment opportunity to back founders at a critical inflection point in their venture journey. With ASF, we provide our founders with the added firepower to chase sound business metrics like revenues, positive unit economics, and profitability.”
ASF raised its first Rs 100 crores in less than three weeks, as current LPs enthusiastically chose to double down on the winners of AVF’, an early-stage micro VC Fund. The established winners include LenDenClub, Agnikul, Everest Fleet, HobSpace, InstaAstro and KarmaLife.
Artha announced the final close of AVF in June 2021 at over Rs 225 crores, exceeding its target corpus of Rs 200 crores. The Fund has made 27 investments, with a combined valuation of over Rs 3,600 crores. AVF claims to have provided portfolio returns to investors with a 3.61x Multiple on Invested Capital and over 120 percent Internal Return Rate as the earliest investor in these start-ups.
AVF’s portfolio start-up Daalchini raised its Series A round led by Unicorn India Ventures even as the investor-led the retail tech start-up in its seed and Pre-Series A rounds. Moreover, AVF recently announced its investment into circular economy start-up Nirmalaya.
Bhavin Patel, CEO, and Founder of LenDenClub, a peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform, said, “Artha has been a true partner for LenDenClub, investing in us when we were disbursing just 8 to 10 loans per month. In those early days, with their support and understanding of working with other star-tups, Dipesh and I could establish solid key performance indices for the business and ensure that our business decisions were based on data.”
In December 2021, LenDenClub raised a $10 million Series A from Ohm Enterprises (Amal Parikh’s family office), Tuscan Ventures, Som Ventures LLP, QED Innovation Labs, Angel List, Indian cricket Hardik Pandya, and Shajikumar Devakar, executive director at IIFL Wealth.
“Artha led our seed round and doubled down on that investment in the Pre-Series A. In addition, their $1.8 million investment in the Series A round increased the investor’s confidence, aiding us in closing the round quickly,” Patel added. LenDenClub has grown 20x since it closed its Series A round, disbursing more than Rs 1000 crores through its platform in August 2022.
Artha Group, the umbrella entity of ASF, has investments in over 100 start-ups across India, the US, Israel, Africa and the UK. Some prominent start-ups in its global portfolio include OYO, Purplle, LeveragEdu, Tala, IconBuild, Rapido, Coutloot, Chai Break, Karza Technologies, and Mobilewalla.