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Amid funding frenzy, Stellaris Venture Partners raises $225 Mn for a second fund

Early stage venture capital firm Stellaris Venture Partners said it has raised $225 million for its second India-dedicated fund, amid what has already been a record-breaking year for startup funding in the country. With this fund, Stellaris Venture Partners now has more than $300 million in assets under management.

Before this, in 2017, Stellaris had closed its first fund at around $100 million. The firm was founded the same year by three former Helion Venture Partners executives, Ritesh Banglani, Alok Goyal and Rahul Chowdhri 

Stellaris expects to make 25-30 new investments in Seed and Series A rounds of technology companies from the new fund, it said in a statement on Wednesday. The firm has already started investing capital from the second fund with commitments to 4 startups so far. It most recently invested in D2C lifestyle brand Zouk.

Global institutional capital forms more than 80% of the capital base of the second fund which did a first close in April and was fully subscribed within 45 days. 

However, in Fund 2, the VC firm has also expanded the Stellaris Founder Network, the group of India’s top technology entrepreneurs that it leverages for deal sourcing, diligence and portfolio support. Roughly 20% of the capital of Fund 2 is contributed by members of this network.

“The larger second fund gives us dry powder to tap into this growing opportunity with an ability to back entrepreneurs with more capital and support them for longer. We keep a large reserve for our best-performing portfolio companies and back them through 3-4 funding rounds,” said Rahul Chowdhri, partner at Stellaris Venture Partners. 

From its maiden fund, Stellaris invested in 19 startups which includes the likes of Mamaearth, an online consumer brand of personal care products, which recently announced its Series C fundraise at more than $700 Million valuation and SaaS company Whatfix, which is valued at over $500 Million. Other notable companies in Stellaris’ portfolio include mFine, Slintel, Loadshare, Signzy and Propelld.

2021 has been a monumental year for Indian startups so far. 22 new unicorns have already been minted so far this year, and more startups could join the coveted list before the year draws to a close. 

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