Singapore-based investment firm Lighthouse Canton on Monday announced the first close of its venture debt fund, a Category – II AIF, at Rs 155.4 crore, which it will deploy in Indian start-ups.
The total aimed corpus of Category – II AIF is Rs 550 crore with a greenshoe option of Rs 550 crore.
"Global investment institution Lighthouse Canton has announced the first close of its venture debt fund, a Category – II AIF, at Rs 155.4 crore. The fund has seen participation from onshore and offshore institutions and family offices," the investment firm said in a statement.
LC (Lighthouse Canton) Venture Debt fund expects to deploy the capital in the next two years across 35-40 companies, the statement said.
"Given that our venture debt strategy is regional, we can also support a start-up with aspirations to expand out of the domestic market. Our presence in other markets uniquely positions us to partner with companies with international expansion plans and help them with their financing needs. Our investors and partners appreciate the value we bring to the ecosystem, and we are witnessing healthy demand for this asset class," Lighthouse Canton's Director for venture debt Ankit Agrawal said.
According to a CBInsights report, India's start-up ecosystem has witnessed a boom, attracting 5 per cent of all venture capital deal flows globally last year with over $20 billion invested.
At the end of 2022, there were 1,205 unicorns globally, with nearly 10 per cent hailing from India.
"In more mature venture ecosystems such as the US and Europe, venture debt has risen to 15-20 per cent of the total VC funding, whereas this proportion is less than 2 per cent in India. Given the growth of venture ecosystem in India, we see tremendous opportunity for venture debt, and we expect the size of this market to grow 3-4x in the next five years," Lighthouse Canton's Global Head of Asset Management Sanket Sinha said.