Early-stage venture capital and equity firm, Mela Ventures has marked the first close of its maiden fund ‘MV Core Tech Fund-I’ worth Rs 200 crore. The firm is a SEBI-approved alternative investment fund (AIF) and would mainly invest in B2B early-stage tech startups.
The Bengaluru-based MV Ventures has already garnered Rs 130 crore as the first tranche for Fund-I from undisclosed investors. It is planning to make four to five investments in the next 18 months with an average cheque ranging in between Rs 7 to 10 crore.
Floated by Mindtree founders and industry veterans — Krishnakumar Natarajan and Parthasarathy NS — Mela Ventures’ Fund-I would majorly focus on deals in the internet of things (IoT), analytics, cloud computing, and digital segments. The duo took the exit from Mindtree last year after Larsen & Toubro acquired a majority stake in the software services company.
While announcing the first close, Natarajan, managing partner at MV Ventures, said, “We are on a mission to build next-generation entrepreneurs out of India. Towards this mission, Mela Ventures will support early-stage companies using modern technologies to build B2B solutions targeted at global enterprises.”
Natarajan has also backed companies including KNAB Finance and JustLikeNew in his personal capacity. In the past two years, a slew of founders in the Indian startup ecosystem has launched their own funds to back early and growth-stage startups.
Over the past few years, several entrepreneurs have been incorporating separate ventures to consolidate their personal investments. Snapdeal’s Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal had set up an investment vehicle named Titan Capital. Sachin Bansal has been leveraging Navi (formerly BACQ) for his personal investment while Oyo’s Ritesh Agarwal registered Aroa Ventures in Singapore to fund growth-stage companies.
Paytm’s founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma also floated two ventures – VSS Investco and VSS Holdings to back early-stage startups. Zerodha’s Nitin Kamath and its other promoters also operate investment firm Rainmatter for investment purposes.