Debt funding firm Alteria Capital on Thursday announced the second close of its fund with commitments of Rs 625 crore. The fund has had anchor investments from SIDBI, IndusInd Bank and a large domestic family office foundation.
In a statement, Alteria said that the fund has high visibility of further commitments from financial institutions as well as family offices and is expected to achieve the final close over the next few months.
With the close of the second fund, Alteria has also announced an infusion of Rs 8 crore venture debt in scooter rental platform Vogo, as part of its (Vogo's) Series A funding round from Ola Cabs, Stellaris and Matrix Venture Partners.
Alteria Capital has a corpus of Rs 800 crore and a greenshoe option of Rs 200 crore. The fund aims to provide venture debt to high growth, innovative Indian startups with a cheque size range of Rs 2 crore to Rs 100 crore.
Alteria’s current portfolio includes Fingerlix, Toppr, Raw Pressery and Universal Sportsbiz. Founded two years ago by Anand Ayyadurai, Padmanabhan Balakrishnan and Sanchit Mittal, Vogo lets consumers rent scooters for short one-way trips to different locations across Bengaluru and Hyderabad, where it has 200 pickup locations.
“We believe that the wealth of experience Alteria’s team brings to the table and their excellent network in India and abroad will help us to grow faster and make Vogo available to more customers,” said Anand, who is the CEO of Vogo.
The app enables users to locate, unlock, and pick up its scooters and bikes at one point, and drop it off at a different point without the need for a docking station. Vinod Murali, co-founder and Managing Partner, Alteria Capital, said,
“The Vogo team has a good blend of technology and operations background and they have been spending a lot of time in understanding micro pockets of demand and customer behaviour to ensure good growth in business. There are not too many teams attacking this problem and we are very happy to partner with Vogo, which looks to have a strong advantage at this point of time.”
Every Vogo scooter comes with an OTP-based IoT sensor that allows customers to access the key without the need for any human intervention, and to start the ride seamlessly. The consumers are charged Rs 5 per kilometre.
“The sector is very attractive as it accentuates existing customer behaviour with a layer of technology, making it more convenient for them to access transportation for first-mile and last-mile requirements. This is also gender-neutral and a pan-India requirement. High velocity of usage across other intra-city platforms is also a demand source. Overall, it feels like the timing is right for such a solution,” says Vinod.
The scooter-sharing segment is growing fast in India. There is also Rapido, which currently claims to have over 4,000 bikes in Bengaluru, and over 1,000 in Gurgaon. Recently, Metro bikes, which was rebranded as Bounce, raised $12.2 million in funding led by Sequoia Capital.
Venture debt funding is growing. This July-September $113 million was invested in over 13 deals.
“We are seeing strong demand for venture debt from the Indian market and, currently, we have deployed and committed approximately Rs 200 crore of capital within six months of being in operation. Follow-on equity rounds are already happening within the portfolio, which is another great sign. Having Rs 625 crore of limited partner (LP) commitments places us as the largest venture debt fund in India, which comes with a lot of responsibility towards the ecosystem. We expect to achieve the fund's final close over the next few months given the traction seen across institutional and Indian UHNI investors,” Vinod said.