The fund has so far seen participation from high-net-worth individuals, ultra HNIs and other family offices
Speciale Invest is looking to close the fund in the next 3-4 months and will deploy the capital to invest in portfolio startups in spacetech, green hydrogen, and robotics sectors, among others
Speciale Invest has so far invested in emerging players such as spacetech platform Agnikul, EV startup Ultraviolette, air mobility platform ePlane Company, and cleantech platform Uravu
Venture capital (VC) firm Speciale Invest on Wednesday (April 5) announced the launch of an INR 200 Cr growth fund. The firm plans to close the fund in the next three to four months.Speciale Invest will deploy the new fund to invest in its portfolio startups. Called Speciale Invest Growth Fund I, the new fund will have a green shoe option of up to INR 100 Cr.
The fund is a SEBI-registered Category-II alternative investment fund (AIF) and has so far seen participation from high-net-worth individuals (HNIs), ultra HNIs and other family offices.
Speciale Invest will use the capital to fund portfolio companies working in areas such as spacetech, green hydrogen, robotics, green mobility, quantumtech, AI-led platforms, among others.
“… Our newly launched Growth Fund I is a testament to our commitment to investing in high-potential technology startups, and we look forward to working closely with founders building for the world from India,” said Vishesh Rajaram, managing partner at Speciale Invest.
Chiming in, Arjun Rao, general partner at Speciale Invest, said, “… With an initial investment of INR 100 Cr and plans to increase it further in the coming months, we look forward to partnering with promising startups and providing them with the resources and guidance they need to achieve their full potential.”
In response to a question from Inc42 about the thesis behind the new fund, Rao said that the VC firm sits on the board of many of the portfolio companies and is aware of their financials. This, he said, will help the firm take a call on such investments.
Founded in 2017 by Rajaram and Rao, Speciale Invest is an early stage-focused VC firm that largely invests in startups from emerging areas such as deeptech, AI-led SaaS, robotics, micro-electronics, and spacetech.
The firm raised its first fund of INR 60 Cr in 2018 and followed it up with the final close of its INR 300 Cr second fund last year. Speciale Invest backed 18 companies via its first fund and plans to invest in 20-22 early-stage companies via the second fund.
The VC firm largely invests in startups in the range of $500K to $1 Mn. It has so far invested in emerging players such as spacetech platform Agnikul, EV startup Ultraviolette, air mobility platform ePlane Company, and cleantech platform Uravu.
The launch of the new fund comes at a time when VC firms have been sitting tightly on their dry powder and have been shying away from investing in Indian startups. Global macroeconomic pressures, rout in valuations of tech companies, and high inflation have forced many VC firms to tread judiciously.
As per Inc42, India saw the launch of 126 new funds in 2022 which raised a corpus of a massive $18 Bn.
With many startups shutting shop due to the funding winter and a series of corporate governance issues emerging at Indian startups, investors have tightened their purse strings.
However, India-focused funds continue to raise big amounts of capital. Earlier today, early-stage VC fund V3 Ventures launched its operations in India and said it is looking to invest nearly INR 900 Cr in India, American and European startups. Another VC firm pi Ventures secured INR 22 Cr from Colruyt Group India for its INR 675 Cr second fund.