[YS Exclusive] Lead Angels sets up Rs 300 crore early stage fund
Mumbai-headquartered Lead Angels Network, which operates an eponymous angel investment platform, has announced the launch of Lead Angels Fund, registered as a Category I AIF with SEBI. The Rs 300 crore fund marked its first close in January 2022, raising Rs 5 crore from nearly 20 early-stage investors.
The sector-agnostic fund which aims to be the first institutional cheque in a startup has a team of seven investment managers, with Sushanto Mitra, CEO of Lead Angels, acting as the managing partner.
“We are looking to make about 10 investments in the next six months, at an average cheque size of Rs 1.5 to 2 crore. Our aim is to rapidly scale-up so that we can invest our full fund size of Rs 300 crore over the next three to four years,” Sushanto Mitra told YourStory.
He adds that the fund structure benefits startups as they get a single name on the cap table, making follow-on rounds easier to execute. As part of the fund, the investors will be issued units of a startup’s shares, instead of direct shares in the investee company, as is the practice with angel networks.
While the fund has not earmarked a specific amount of capital for follow-on rounds, it will continue to look out for new primary and secondary investments, supporting its portfolio companies, said Sushanto. The fund is currently focused on opportunities in the Software-as-a-Service space, medical technology, and fintech companies.
“We are seeing a large number of our angel network portfolio companies reach for the next level of funding and we intend to use the fund for the same,” he added. The fund has a lifecycle of 10 years, with an option to extend it for additional two years.
In the six years since its inception, Lead Angels Network has invested in over 50 companies, including the likes of English-learning platform , Pune-based alcoholic beverage company and others. It has also seen exits from its portfolio companies such as milk delivery company which was acquired by Swiggy in 2018 and direct-to-consumer superhero merchandise brand which was acquired by Nazara subsidiary, NODWIN Gaming in January 2022.
Sushanto Mitra said that the fund said that Lead Angels Fund had made its first investment in Gurugram-headquartered holistic education platform for children between the ages of six to 14 years, KidEx, with a total cheque size of Rs 1.6 crore. KidEx works on a business-to-business and a business-to-consumer model and has partnered with nearly 1500 schools so far.
The fund plans on closing two new investments before the end of the financial year, 2021-22.