First Cheque closes its second fund at $5M
Early-stage venture capital (VC) firmon Wednesday said it has raised Rs 38 crore (about $5 million) from global investors for its second fund and plans to invest in 50 startups in the next 18 months.
The fund, which used to operate as an AngelList syndicate and had invested in more than 100 startups in the past three years. The firm will focus on first-time founders and will invest $100,000 in each of its portfolio companies.
The Bengaluru-based pre-seed stage VC firm aims to be the earliest institutional capital available for founders. The firm has a sector agnostic approach and is open to backing founding teams at the paper-plan stage. The closure of its second fund takes the firm’s total AUM to Rs 90 crore.
First Cheque has streamlined its deployment process to less than 30 days—from initial discussion to capital deployment. It is also launching an in-house programme, featuring leading founders, sector experts and venture capitalists who will share their experiences around building a company, GTM (go-to-market) strategy, hiring and retention, monetisation, and fundraising.
Additionally, the VC firm will be organising bi-annual demo days with leading VCs, simplifying the fundraising process for their portfolio companies. The team will also actively work with its portfolio companies to improve their pitch and help them identify the right product metrics.
It also plans to onboard undergraduate venture fellows, who will connect the fund with high-potential student startups from their respective colleges. First Cheque worked with over 20 venture partners during its first fund, and added more than 100 startups to its portfolio, through the same. Some of its renowned portfolio ventures include Fashinza, Giva, Rocketlane, Fleetx, Wint Wealth, Plaza/Rigi, Global Fair, Drink Prime and Bellatrix Aerospace, according to a statement.
Speaking of the vision, Prateek Agarwal, Investment Lead, First Cheque said, “We believe that India needs more seed stage institutional capital and mentorship, which we aim to provide via our founder community, dedicated programme, and a network of seasoned investors and venture partners. Our commitment is to foster a support system that can help our founders throughout their journey. It is a small step aligned with PM Narendra Modi’s “Startup India” initiative.”
One additional differentiation for First Cheque is its active community of over 200 founders. This community offers real-time mentorship and solutions for the day-to-day problems that founders face. The team at First Cheque also actively helps portfolio companies by securing lucrative deals with large enterprises like AWS, Cloudflare, and MongoDb, among others. It has secured deals with more than 50 such enterprises, so far.