Stellaris Venture Partners, an investor in startups such as consumer brand Mamaearth and software company Whatfix said on August 11 that it has raised $225 million for its second fund, much bigger than its $90 million first fund, underscoring investor aggression for Indian startups.
Moneycontrol first reported details of the novel fund on June 16. Stellaris plans to manufacture 25-30 investments in seed and Series A rounds of internet startups from this fund.
The firm was began in 2016 by Ritesh Banglani, Rahul Chowdhuri and Alok Goyal, former partners at Helion Ventures, which was disbanded. It locked its first fund in 2018.
“In the past four years, Stellaris has built a specialist, depth-oriented investment model that
allows us to take early bets in new years. Whether it is healthcare AI with mFine or D2C brands with Mamaearth, we have developed conviction ahead of the curve and have been able to back market leaders in emerging categories,” Chowdhuri stated.
“India’s venture ecosystem has come of age over the last few years with large exits and a massive increase in the volume and quality of new startups. The larger second fund gives us dry powder to tap into this growing opportunity with an ability to back entrepreneurs with more capital and support them for longer. We keep a large reserve for our best-performing portfolio companies and back them through 3-4 funding rounds,” he further said.
About 80% of the fund was raised from global institutional investors, seen as a win for local VC firms because these investors- endowments, pension funds and large family offices- tend to be more long term investors, can write bigger cheques and back top fund managers globally.
A bigger fund puts Stellaris closer to Accel, Matrix, Lightspeed and Nexus Venture Partners- experienced VCs and among India’s top investors who have raised the largest VC funds in India- only second to Sequoia Capital.
Notably, the fund was raised completely over video meetings, said people familiar with the matter. Stellaris’ partners had planned to travel to the US for their first set of fundraising meetings in March 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic hit India. Investors have, though, adapted to the novel normal quickly, and the subsequent internet startup and funding boom assisted investors raise money quicker.