India: Tech-focused VC pi Ventures marks second close of maiden fund at $25m

Manish Singhal & Umakant Soni, co-founders, pi Ventures

pi Ventures, a tech-focused early-stage venture capital firm, has marked the second close of its $30-million maiden fund at $25 million, the company said in a statement.

In March 2017, the Bengaluru-based investment firm had reached the first close of its maiden fund at $13 million. According to the official statement, the fund is expected to reach a final close soon.

The key investors in the fund include Hero Enterprise chairman Sunil Kant Munjal, Electronic Development Fund (managed by Canbank Ventures), electronics company Hero Electronix and other high-net-worth individuals and entrepreneurs.

Its earlier Limited Partners (investors) include SIDBI, In Colour Capital from Canada, prominent family offices from US, Canada, Singapore and India, and leading entrepreneurs such as Mohandas Pai, Binny Bansal, Deep Kalra, Sanjeev Bikchandani and Bhupen Shah, among others.

Co-founded by Manish Singhal and Umakant Soni, pi Ventures focuses on early-stage startups involved in applied artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and internet of things (IoT) in healthcare, logistics, retail, fintech and enterprise sectors.

pi Ventures has made four investments so far in the healthcare and energy-efficiency space, namely Sigtuple, NIRAMAI Health Analytix, Ten3T and Zenatix. It plans to invest in 18-20 startups from this fund in the next three-four years, the venture capital firm said.

Venture capital firms have been gathering dry powder even though deployment has been slower over the last one year.

While SAIF Partners is raising a $350-million new fund, Mumbai-based mid-stage investor Iron Pillar Capital Management Ltd has also set a target of $150 million for its new venture capital fund.

In early 2017, tech-focused venture capital firm Stellaris Venture Partners marked the first close of its $100-million fund at $50 million. IDG Ventures India also closed its latest fund at $200 million. Indian Angel Network, one of the largest angel networks in Asia, recently marked the first close of its maiden fund at Rs 175 crore ($27.3 million). The fund has a target of Rs 350 crore ($55 million).

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