Home-grown early-stage VC firm Blume Ventures announced the final close of Blume Ventures Fund III at $102 million. The VC firm made its first close in late 2018, of which the final close was in December last year.
Started in 2011, Blume Venture started with a fund of Rs 100 crore; in 2016, the fund closed $60 million and it has now closed $102 million.
Blume had marked the first close of Fund III at $45 million in October 2018, which helped build the first half of the portfolio. The early Fund III portfolio construction over the first year has crossed 10 investments.
Blume’s newest fund will continue to back early-stage startups focusing on the two distinct opportunity sets that India offers: opportunities that leverage the mobile-led explosion of the Indian digital-first economy, and Indian engineering and science translated to global market opportunities.
Fund III will be invested across 25-30 companies. With opening investment cheques of $500,000 -$1.25 million, and reserves per winning company running into $3- 5 million, Blume is now signalling larger ownership needs, and a longer and deeper commitment to winners from the portfolio.
Karthik Reddy, Co-founder and Managing Partner at Blume Ventures, said, "“We are very proud of our founders and team, who have delivered outstanding performance over the last three years, strengthening the Blume brand and track record immensely. Our existing backers have reposed continued faith in our ability to back, nurture, and build sustainable and exciting businesses. Their support has gotten us this far and inspired a new set of world-class institutional investors who have partnered with us in 2019, to help us build the next decade at Blume."
With this fund close, Blume becomes the first entirely homegrown fund to raise a third fund and raise over a $100 million in a single fund. The fund also has different programmes like - Constellation Blu, the financial and legal aid spinoff; Passion Connect, the fund's talent acquisition spinoff; Arka, the B2B x-border accelerator JV with US funds; and Blu Swan, an internal growth capital advisory.
Sanjay Nath, Co-founder and Managing Partner, said, “Sectorally, we've broadened our 'built in India for global markets' B2B thesis. Thanks to a rise in the quality and availability of talent in leading edge technologies like AI/ML, we've expanded our investment team resources to cover enterprise software/SaaS as well as space/drones, robotics, core sciences and other deep tech areas. With Fund III, Blume continues to strengthen its global investment partnerships. In addition to being a Draper Venture Network (DVN) member fund and co-founding Arka Venture Labs (one of India’s first b2b x-border accelerator funds), we also set up a R&D investment program 'BUDHA' with our Japanese strategic partner UTEC, to seed the next wave of innovation in deep/hard tech."
Some of Blume's investments include healthtech startup HealthAssure, agritech startups Jai Kisan, Procol, and TartanSense, and other deep-tech startups like Ethereal Machines, Euler Motors, Lambda Test, and AgaraLabs.
The VC firm stated that Fund III saw continued support from Blume’s current LPs as well as new institutional investors from global markets. Fund I and II continue to trend positively with a multitude of growth-stage breakouts in the portfolio over the last 24 months , including Unacademy, Grey Orange, Spinny, Turtlemint, Dunzo, Healthifyme, Purplle, and Railyatri.
The fund has also seen some exits, including Mettl, NowFloats, Minjar, and Threadsol.
Ashish Fafadia, who has been at Blume since 2012, and was added to the Partnership in Fund III, adds “Fund III allows us to invest with more capital and ownership per company. With breakouts from Funds I and II companies allowing Blume to grow with their portfolio, investing through an Opportunities Fund through Series B/C/D rounds in these companies has added a growth lens to the team. We are adding senior resources both, on the investment side and platform side, which has been a pioneering effort of sorts in the Indian early-stage tech ecosystem.”
This fund has also allowed Blume to expand its ambition and presence with offices in Delhi and Bengaluru over the last 18 months, which have rapidly scaled to teams of five members each.
(Edited by Teja Lele Desai)