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Merak Ventures launches $100 Mn fund for early-stage startups


Early-stage venture capital firm Merak Ventures has launched a new fund with a target corpus of $100 million. The VC firm plans to invest in up to 20 startups over the next three to four years.

Merak will infuse seed capital in B2B and emerging technology companies, the investment firm said in a press statement. The new fund is sector agnostic, but it will also focus on areas including climate tech, which comprises agritech, mobility, climate finance, digital solutions, and insurtech.

Merak is co-founded by former GrowX Ventures partners Manu Rikhye and Sheetal Bahl. The duo were investing in early stage companies at GrowX which focuses on deeptech companies. They still manage 16 companies from the GrowX portfolio which include Progcap and Cynlr.

Merak’s $100 million fund comes amid the so-called funding winter that has seen investors shying away from putting large capital in startups, especially in middle and late-stage startups. Moreover, companies are now taking drastic measures, including layoffs, to return to the path to profitability.

According to data compiled by Fintrackr, nearly 90 startup investment firms, including 63 VC firms, eight PE firms, and four debt firms, have launched or were in the final leg to announce their new fund as of July 2022.

Earlier this month, venture debt firm Stride Ventures announced the close of Stride Ventures India Fund II at $200 million. The fund saw its first close in August 2021.

Things have also started looking good for growth as well as early stage startups. Just recently, Fundamentum Partnership recently raised $227 million for its second fund to invest anywhere between $25 to 40 million in growth seeking startups. In June, Bengaluru-based early-stage focused fund Fundamental VC launched its maiden Fund with a target corpus of $130 million.

As per Fintrackr’s data, early stage startups accounted for 15% of the total funding from January to July 2022. Early stage startups mopped up $3.1 billion across 688 deals whereas the total funding stood at $21 billion across 1,062 deals during the first seven months of this year.

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