JSW Ventures, the start-up investment arm of the steel and energy conglomerate JSW Group, marked the first closure of its new fund, which aims to raise a total corpus of $350 crore, said a senior executive.
“We will place a first check of $2-3 million, followed by an additional $2 million in rounds, for 10-12 companies and plan to invest in four companies a year,” Gaurav Sachdeva said.
In August, JSW Ventures obtained market regulator, Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) approval for the second investment. While the Jindal family fully backed its ~100 crore first fund in 2016, the latest fund is anchored by the Jindals with a 30 percent fund commitment. The rest are raised in a fund from limited partners or investors like high networth individuals, family offices and banks.
JSW is planning to invest in Series A rounds in those businesses that have already found product market fit and have on board a few investors including angels and incubators / accelerators.
While roughly a quarter of the new fund will be invested in software-as – a-service firms (SaaS), the rest will be deployed to platforms for business, healthcare and financial services, Sachdeva said.
“India’s large small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) / mid-market base helps SaaS enterprises suit the product market before they go global. A supportive VC ecosystem coupled with SaaS founders ‘ expertise in recognizing moats about moving costs, the ability to monetize data and the development of user interfaces is accelerating creativity for SaaS companies next round, “he added.
JSW Ventures ‘ portfolio includes regional mobile operating system Indus OS, SaaS-based restaurant technology provider LimeTray; beauty products e-tailer Purplle; interior design company Homelane, and rehabilitated and pre-owned goods marketplace Overcart, which closed a few years ago.
While Purplle raised about $40 million last month from Goldman Sachs and Belgian investor Verlinvest, Homelane raised $30 million last month from Dubai-based private equity firm Evolvence India Fund (EIF) and Pidilite Group.
JSW Ventures also appointed a new partner in October last year, when Sachin Tagra joined them from media house Network18 Group, where he headed investments at Capital18, its startup investment arm.