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pi Ventures Raises Rs 100 Crores From SIDBI’s FFS

The investment comes soon after pi Ventures announced an investment of Rs 22 crores from Belgium’s Colruyt Group in its second fund

pi Ventures Raises Rs 100 Crores From SIDBI’s FFS

Outlook Start-Up Desk

POSTED ON April 13, 2023 12:57 PM

Early-stage venture fund pi Ventures has raised Rs 100 crores or 15 per cent of the corpus out of Fund of Funds for Start-Ups (FFS) managed by Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI). This is nearly ~2.5 times of what FFS had invested in the first fund.

The investment comes soon after pi Ventures announced an investment of Rs 22 crores from Belgium’s Colruyt Group in its second fund. In January 2022, the company announced the first close of its second fund at Rs 303.5 crore ($40 million), raising funds from entrepreneurs, high-net-worth individuals (HNIs) and family offices from across the globe. 

With the commitment out of FFS, the fund is on track to do its final close in the second quarter of the calender year 2023 (CY23) in the range of 675 crore to 750 crore. The fund is backed by BII, Nippon India Digital Innovation AIF (NIDIA), Accel, Colruyt and entrepreneurs and family offices such as Binny Bansal, Varun Alagh, Samit Shetty, Rajesh Ranavat, Anupam Mittal, Hemendra Kothari, Hitesh Oberoi, Ullas Kamath, Deep Kalra, senior leaders from IBM, Facebook and Google among others. 

pi Ventures will continue to focus on early-stage (seed/ pre-Series A/Series A) investments via this fund. Their strategy will be to invest in start-ups focused on disruptive artificial intelligence (AI) and other forms of deep tech across sectors including, but not limited to blockchain, spacetech, biotech and material science among others. So far pi ventures has committed in seven start-ups - ImmunitoAI, Ottonomy.IO, Silence Laboratories, Preimage and three others. Fund plans to invest in 20-25 such start-ups in two to three years.

Fund of Funds for Start-ups (FFS) was unveiled by Prime Minister on January 16, 2016, in line with the Start-up India Action Plan. It has a corpus of Rs 10,000 crore for contribution to various Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs) registered with SEBI. Introduced with a focused objective of supporting the development and growth of innovation-driven enterprises, FFS facilitates funding needs for start-ups through participation in the capital of SEBI-registered Alternative Investment Funds.

SIDBI acting as an operating manager for the Fund of Funds for Start-ups (FFS) programme is working with the vision to encourage the Government agenda of boosting entrepreneurship by providing indirect funding to emerging Start-ups through the provision of funds to Venture Capital (VC) Funds present in the Indian Start-up Ecosystem. 

“We are delighted to welcome  FFS again in our second fund. The confidence in our team and our investment strategy reinforces our commitment to support talented entrepreneurs who are creating disruptive products that solve fundamental real-world problems with innovative technology backed solutions." said Manish Singhal, Founding Partner, pi Ventures.

Established in 2016 by Manish Singhal, pi Ventures closed its Fund I of Rs 225 crore ($30 million) in 2018. The first fund exceeded its target, was oversubscribed and has backed 15 deep tech start-ups including Niramai, Pixis, Wysa, Agnikul and Locus. The second fund was launched in March 2021 with a base target corpus of Rs 675 crore ($90 million) and including green shoe a target of Rs 750 crore ($100 million).

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