Slice-backer 8i Ventures raises $50M in Fund II, will focus on fintech startups

Early-stage investment firm 8i Ventures announces the launch of Fund II of $50 million and plans to increase its investments in the fintech space.
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Mumbai-based 8i Ventures has raised $50 million for its Fund II, and aims to invest in startups operating in the fintech space finance as the founder believes that "every consumer friction point in finance and consumer is a billion-dollar startup opportunity".

"The money from this fund will be used to invest in fintech players, who are making money simpler. Getting a credit card was a challenge for everyone. But with Slice, you get it within a few minutes. That's what we look at before backing firms," Vikram Chachra, Founding Partner, 8i Ventures, told YourStory in an interaction.

The early-stage investment firm raised their first fund of $13 million, in 2020. This fund was used to invest in startups, including omni-channel coffee seller Blue Tokai Coffee, fintech product builder M2P FINTECH, and Slice, the latest entrant in the unicorn club. The Bengaluru-based firm raised $220 million led by Tiger Global only three days ago at a $1 billion valuation.

Vikram, who invested in Slice out of his personal wealth, claims to have grown his investment by 96X.

Slice entered the unicorn club three days ago with $220 million investment led by Tiger Global

With the new fund, 8i Ventures aims to cut bigger cheques to seed and early-stage startups.

"We now have the firepower to lead seed and A deals and support our companies till they break out and attract late-stage VCs," says Vikram, who holds an MBA from New York University's Stern School.

Founded in 2018, 8i Ventures will invest between $500,000 and $5 million in early-stage startups for an exchange of 10-20 percent equity.

Vikram decided to majorly invest in fintech firms after seeing their appeal in American and Latin-American countries. On a trip to Brazil, he met the founder of a neobank firm.

"I could see the similarities between LatAm (Latin America) and the Indian market," Vikram says. He uses these parallels to pick on early financial trends that could play out in India.

The fintech ecosystem also got a major boost due to the pandemic when people started leveraging UPI (Unified Payment Interface) as their go-to payment method, while using other digital financial services.

Edited by Teja Lele Desai