Prime Venture Partners, an early stage fund, today announced the close of its third fund at INR 400 crore (~$60M). Prime will continue to focus on making concentrated investments with high conviction and support, maintaining its deep involvement model. The key investment sectors which the fund focuses on are Digital India, Fintech/Financial Services, Healthcare, Education, Logistics and Global SaaS solutions.
Founded in 2011, Prime Venture Partners is a Bangalore-based seed fund and incubator led by serial entrepreneurs Sanjay Swamy, Shripati Acharya and Amit Somani along with partner emeritus, Raj Mashruwala. It claims to has had a rich track record of investing in early stage technology startups in India and it has always focussed on companies that have an innovative approach to solving fundamental problems through technology.
Previously, Prime was earlier known as AngelPrime and had raised its first fund of $8M in 2012. Later in 2015, it rebranded itself as Prime and also raised Fund-II of a $46M. It was the first investor in ZipDial, a missed-call based startup that was acquired by Twitter in 2015, and Ezetap, a mobile payments company that has since raised about $50M in follow-on capital and is a leading provider of enterprise-grade payment acceptance solutions in India.
Prime is typically the first institutional investor in a startup. The firm follows a distinctive model of being highly selective and invests in only 3-5 companies per year, only after building deep conviction in entrepreneurs and their startups through a rapid yet thorough diligence process. A common theme among Prime portfolio companies is strong product and tech teams with unique insights and an ability to rapidly iterate. Portfolio companies work closely with all partners during the formative phase of the business, helping fine-tune all aspects of the company. The firm actively supports entrepreneurs with business and product strategy, refining operating metrics, hiring, partnerships, marketing, finance, all the way through raising subsequent capital.
While most of Prime’s portfolio companies are focussed on the booming Digital India opportunity, Prime also has several companies that target the US, Middle-East and other International markets, or that initially start in India and expand from India to other geographies. Most of these companies have gone on to raise strong follow-on rounds of investment from other leading Venture Capital firms in India, Silicon Valley and Asia.
Prime has three key areas of focus for investment:
- Fintech & Financial Services: Ezetap (2010 – enterprise payments), SmartOwner (2012 – Real-Estate Financial Services), Happay (2014 – Business Expense Management), KredX (2015 – Invoice Discounting/Working Capital for SME’s), Moneytap (2015 – App based consumer credit line), NiYO (2015 – Payroll and Benefits) and AffordPlan (2016 – HealthCare Financial Services).
- SaaS & Enterprise Solutions: HackerEarth (2014 – innovation management platform), Synup (2015 – digital marketing solutions), Nimble Wireless (2016 – IOT/Food, Medicine & Pet Safety), Vidgyor (2016 – Video Advertising Solutions), Tracxn (2016 – Business Research Information for Private Markets), myGate (2017 – Gated Community Security).
- HealthCare & Education: AffordPlan (2016- at intersection of Fintech and Healthcare), Maya (Women’s reproductive health), Quizizz (2015 – multiplayer quizzing platform).
Amit Somani, managing partner, Prime Venture Partners, said, “The quality of technology entrepreneurship in India is growing non-linearly. It is driven by the fact that several employees of the first wave of tech startups have the maturity and exposure to solving problems at scale and are now turning entrepreneurs themselves. Combining this with our first-hand experience and our unique model of investing in a few companies with high conviction and active support, we believe makes for a perfect storm and we’re excited to be in the midst of this.”
Rajesh Mashruwala, Partner Emeritus, Prime Venture Partners, said, “There has never been better time for Indian innovators. When most of the world is plagued by political and economic uncertainties, India offers stable policy, level playing field and commitment to build digital economy.”
Earlier this year, Prime led the investment of ₹16 crore in Bengaluru-based myGate, a mobile-app based security management solution providing startup for gated premises.
Prior to this, Prime had also participated in financing round of an another Bangalore based startup NiYO.