Mumbai – Varanium Capital Advisors, a prominent asset management firm based in Mumbai, has achieved the first close of its debut venture debt fund, raising INR 250 crore with an additional green-shoe option of INR 50 crore. The fund aims to support nearly 100 startups in India by offering a combination of revenue-based financing and traditional venture debt.
Varanium Capital, known for managing assets worth $1 billion across diverse classes, including structured debt and portfolio management services, is also the driving force behind the Category-I alternative investment fund, Varanium NexGen Fund, which focuses on early-stage fintech startups. With 12 successful startup investments already under its belt through the equity fund, including well-known names like Easebuzz, Riskcovry, Finvu, and Homeville, Varanium Capital is poised to make a significant impact on the startup ecosystem.
Founder of Varanium Capital, T S Anantakrishnan, expressed the significance of the venture debt fund, stating, “Venture debt fund will provide financial backing to startups in sectors such as D2C, SaaS, B2B commerce, and fintech, who require to scale their operations. With a corpus size of Rs 250 crore, the fund is well-positioned to provide timely capital injections, enabling startups to seize growth opportunities and expand their market reach.”
Heading the management of the venture debt fund is Nawal Bachhuka, formerly the risk head for SME and SEG (west) at Aditya Birla Finance Limited. Joining him are key leaders from IndusInd Bank, including former IndusInd Bank CEO Ramesh Sobti, former CRO K S Sridhar, former head of corporate lending Suhail Chander, and former COO Paul Abraham.
The investment committee comprises Anantakrishnan, Aparajit Bhandarkar, Suhail Chander, and Sridhar. The venture debt fund has already secured commitments from domestic and global limited partners, attracting interest from high net-worth individuals (HNIs), seasoned entrepreneurs, and former CEOs and CXOs of banks.
The current funding environment has seen a notable rise in venture debt investments, prompting several venture debt firms to announce new funds. Among them are Stride Ventures and Alteria Capital. Recently, Singapore-headquartered Lighthouse Canton also announced the first close of its maiden Indian venture debt fund valued at INR 550 crore.
The successful first close of Varanium Capital’s venture debt fund sets the stage for an influx of capital into India’s startup ecosystem. With a strong backing of INR 250 crore and the potential for further growth through the green-shoe option, the fund is expected to empower startups and fuel their expansion in key sectors, fostering innovation and driving economic growth.
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