Bharat Innovation Fund hits first close of $100 million venture fund

Bharat Innovation Fund hits first close of $100 million venture fund

Bharat Innovation Fund is targeting a total corpus of $100 million. Photo: Mint

Bharat Innovation Fund is targeting a total corpus of $100 million. Photo: Mint

Mumbai:Bharat Innovation Fund, an early stage deep-tech and IP (intellectual property) focused venture fund, affiliated with the Centre for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE) at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad, has made a first close of $50 million for its fund.

Bharat Innovation Fund is targeting a total corpus of $100 million.

The fund has managed to secure commitments from institutional investors, including corporates, banks, insurers and fund of funds such as SIDBI, ICICI Lombard, Philips, Bajaj Electricals Ltd., RBL Bank, the firm said in a statement.

The fund would focus on investing in pre-Series-A and Series-A companies. Its is managed by partners Kunal Upadhyay, Shyam Menon and Ashwin Raguraman, Sanjay Jain and Som Pal Choudhury.

“Indian entrepreneurs are producing globally competitive IP-driven innovations across themes like healthcare/biotech, agriculture, energy, and enterprise-tech—enabled by cutting-edge research and trends like AI, ML, IoT, India Stack, among others. Bharat Innovation Fund will catalyse these transformational deep-tech startups by providing them capital, access to market, strategic inputs and partnership connects,” said Kunal Upadhyay, managing partner of Bharat Innovation Fund.

The CIIE has seeded over 200 startups across its various programmes like iAccelerator, Power of Ideas, Powerstart, India Innovation Growth Program and Startup Oasis. Some ventures supported by the CIIE in the past include Ridlr, Recruiterbox, Forus Healthcare, MechMocha, Tookitaki, and Razorpay.

In 2013, the CIIE had launched India’s first cleantech focused venture fund, Infuse Ventures, which has backed startups across the cleantech spectrum. Earlier in the month, Infuse’s portfolio company Fourth Partner Energy raised $70 million from global private equity major, TPG Growth’s The Rise Fund.

“We are pleased to partner with Bharat Innovation Fund and support startups across fin-tech, agriculture, renewable energy and other emerging sectors. We are excited to be able to provide strategic inputs and ideas, access to capital and cutting-edge technology solutions to the entrepreneurs,” said Rajeev Ahuja, executive director, RBL Bank.

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