Unitus

Bengaluru-based investment firm Unitus Seed Fund is launching a second fund of $50 million to invest in around 50 startups with each company receiving between Rs 1 crore and Rs 3 crore. The fund invests in startups based on their potential impact in sectors like education, healthcare, fintech and agriculture. The firm is expected to get the first tranche of the new fund by the third quarter of the calendar year.

The first fund of the Bengaluru-based investment firm was $23 million that was established in 2012 and its investors included Gates Foundation, Ranjan Pai, Mohandas Pai and others. As per reports, most of the participants in the first fund are also expected to invest in the second fund. The new fund will be raised from existing investors with increased proportion from the Indian investors who had contributed one-third of the first round.

Unitus has backed startups like DriveU, Hippocampus, Blowhorn, iBreastExam, Jack on Block, Labinapp, and BetterPlace among others. Eight of its portfolio companies have raised Series A funding, two have raised Series B and one startup is about to raise Series C investment. “In good companies, we plan to participate in follow on fund raising as well,” Will Poole, co-founder and managing partner of Unitus, said.

Recently, another early stage investor Deepak Shahdadpuri-led investment firm DSG Consumer Partners made the first close of its second fund at $35 million, with 40% participation from its existing investors. Alibaba-backed Chinese mobile internet company UCWeb has also announced a $20 million funding program for Indian startups producing games and apps. And, India’s high-profile technocrats and investors including T V Mohandas Pai, Rajiv Mody, Naganand Doraswamy (CEO – TiE-Bangalore) as well as descendents of notable Patni family – Amit and Arihant Patni, have joined hands to form a Rs 125-crore fund, Ideaspring Capital, to back product startups in the country.

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