9Unicorns marks fifth close of its first fund at $100 mn

Venture fund 9Unicorns, set up by incubator and accelerator Venture Catalysts, announced the fifth closure of its maiden $100 million fund on Monday.

The fund was launched in late 2020 with a total size of $50 million. The positive sentiment in the Indian startup ecosystem and the fund’s portfolio performance at present has led 9Unicorns to double to $100 million. It has the option of extending up to $130 million, it said. The accelerator fund has closed more than 110 investments. In 2022, it expects to invest $500,000 to $1 million in idea-stage startups and up to $2 million in high-growth stage startups, which typically are Series C and above.

The fund has backed startups such as Vedantu, Melorra, ShipRocket, Reshamandi, Biddano, BluSmart, IGP.com, Faarms, Instoried, and GoQii.

“Our unique approach to redefine idea stage funding has led to an increased fund size with several leading LPs believing in our strategy. Besides, last year was one of the best times for the startup ecosystem with a funding rush. We invested in 101 deals in 2021 and plan to double that this year. We will finish deploying the fund by mid next year, post which we plan to launch our second fund,” said Apoorva Ranjan Sharma, founder and managing director of 9Unicorns.

The firm’s network of limited partners allows startups to tap into its vast Indian business communities in cities beyond the metros immediately enabling them to go pan-India. The network allows startups to get early customers, distribution partnerships, and cross-portfolio synergies.

9Unicorns will continue to focus on seed investments as India has more than 209,000 startups and only 1,535 get seed funding, accounting for 0.73% of the total. The same rate is 5.1% and 7.2% in US and China, it said while stating data from Traxcn.

Venture Catalysts, set up in 2015 by Sharma, Anuj Golecha, Anil Jain, and Gaurav Jain, invests between $250,000 and $1.5 million in early-stage startups and provides networking and mentoring to its portfolio companies.