Pi Ventures launches second fund; aims to raise $75-100 million

As an early-stage VC fund focused on AI and deep-tech startups, Pi Ventures aims to expand the scope of its second fund with investment in newer areas.

Pi Ventures, the early-stage venture capital fund based in India and focused on artificial intelligence and deep-tech startups, has announced the launch of its second fund with an initial target corpus of Rs 565 crore ($75 million approximately).

Founded in 2016 by Manish Singhal, Pi Ventures is looking to expand the scope of startup investments through the second fund to invest in areas such as material sciences, biotech, nanotech, and spacetech to name a few.

“We have received SEBI approval for the second fund and it also has greenshoe option of Rs 185 crore,” said Manish.

Pi Ventures expects to close the second fund by the end of this year, and the final target could be in the range of $75-100 million. It had raised Rs 225 crore ($30 million) for its first fund, which was closed in 2018.

According to Manish, given the venture fund’s experience over the last five years of investing in AI and deep-tech startups in India, he felt there were enough young companies in the country that could bring major differentiation through technology to solve a large problem.

The second fund of Pi Ventures aims to invest in around 20-25 startups, largely at the seed and pre-Series A stages. The cheque sizes will range from $0.5-1 million.

The second fund has attracted both new limited partners (LPs) as well as the existing ones. In the first fund, the prominent investors were CDC UK; IFC World Bank; SIDBI; Hero Enterprise Chairman Sunil Kant Munjal; Electronic Development Fund (managed by Canbank Ventures) — the corporate financing arm of Hero Electronix; In Colour Capital from Canada; Accel Partners; and prominent family offices and entrepreneurs such as Binny Bansal, Bhupen Shah, Raghuveer Tarra, and Ullas Kamath to name a few.

In the first fund, Pi Ventures invested in 13 startups including Niramai, Locus, Wysa, Agnikul, and Pyxis among others.

Manish said,So far, our investment strategy has worked extremely well and we have a healthy portfolio of companies that have scaled massively despite the current pandemic situation.”
Edited by Kanishk Singh