[Funding alert] Unitus Ventures receives Rs 75 Cr from SIDBI

Unitus Ventures plans to use the new funds received from SIDBI to strengthen the deployment of its second fund that was launched in 2018. It aims to invest in 15-20 startups in early and scale-up stages.

Unitus Ventures on Tuesday said it had secured an investment of Rs 75 crore ($10 million) under SIDBI's Fund of Funds for Startups initiative.

The fund received from Small industrial Development Bank of India (SIDBI ) will strengthen the deployment of Unitus' second fund that was launched in 2018, a statement said.

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"To maintain the fund focus and support our portfolio companies through the growth stages operating experience is pivotal. Unitus Ventures Fund II will invest in 15-20 startups in early and scale-up stages with ticket sizes between $0.5 million to $1.5 million," Unitus Ventures' Partner Srikrishna Ramamoorthy said.

The focus will be on selecting stellar founding teams who have what it takes to build and deliver differentiated products and services and the potential to be national or global market leaders, he added.

Raj and Indra Nooyi (former PRTM management consultants partner and former CEO of PepsiCo, respectively) and Lakshmi Narayanan (former vice-chairman and CEO of Cognizant) are some of the new investors who join existing investors such as Gates Ventures family office, the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, and Hemendra Kothari in Fund II.

Some startups that have been funded by Fund II include Milaap, Hippocampus, Caravan, iStar, and CueLearn.

Unitus recently invested Rs 8.5 crore ($1.1 million) in Masai School, a startup focusing on edtech solutions. India Quotient and AngelList India also participated in this round of funding.

Founded in June 2019 by Prateek Shukla, Nrupul Dev and Yogesh Bhat, Masai School currently trains tech aspirants in full stack web and Android development, and also helps them get placed through its partner network.

Earlier in July, Bengaluru-based tech-enabled staffing solution startup Gigforce has raised Rs 6 crore from Unitus Ventures. Founded by Chirag Mittal (CEO), Parag Modi (CTO), and Anirudh Syal (COO), Gigforce is redefining staffing solutions for businesses that rely on gig workers for their jobs.

(Disclaimer: Additional background information has been added to this PTI copy for context)

(Edited by Teja Lele Desai)