Stellaris Venture Partners, known as an investor in start-ups like software firm Whatfix, consumer brand Mamaearth has raised $225 million of funding in its second round of India-dedicated funding on 11-August.
Before that, in Feb 2017 the company raised its first round of funding of approx. $100 million. In the same year, the company was founded by three former Helion Venture Partners executives, Ritesh Banglani, Rahul Chowdhri and Alok Goyal, with a focus on investing in sectors like online services, technology-enabled financial services, and healthcare supply chain networks, online retail chains, vertical machine-learning applications and software-as-a-service (SaaS).
Bengaluru-based company Stellaris has invested in 19 start-ups so far, including online consumer brand Mamaearth, software firm mFine, Whatfix, Loadshare, Slintel, Signzy, Propelld, and more. It most recently invested in D2C lifestyle brand Zouk.
Stellaris Venture is expecting to make 25-30 new investments in Seed and Series A rounds of technology companies from the new fund, as per the company’s statement on Wednesday.
“India’s venture ecosystem has come of age over the last few years with large exits and a massive increase in the quality and volume of new start-ups. The larger 2nd fund gives us dry powder to tap into this growing opportunity with an ability to back entrepreneurs with more capital and support them for a longer period. We keep a large reserve for our best-performing portfolio companies and back them through 3-4 funding rounds,” said Rahul Chowdhri.
It would be interesting to know that the fund was raised entirely over the video meetings, as per our sources. In March 2020 (When the Covid-19 pandemic hit India) Stellaris’ partners had planned to travel to the US for their first set of fundraising meetings. Investors have, however, adapted to the new normal quickly, and the subsequent internet start-up and funding boom helped investors raise money quicker.
Around 20% of the capital of the new fund is contributed by members of this network. Chowdhri said, “Indian start-ups have a thriving ‘pay it forward’ culture, with successful entrepreneurs helping new founders with their time, network, expertise, and capital. We offer all this to our portfolio entrepreneurs in a structured form through the Stellaris Founder Network. Some of our most successful portfolio companies Mamaearth, mFine, and Slintel were introduced to us by members of this network, and we look forward to strengthening our engagement with this group in Fund 2.