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pi Ventures raises Rs 100 Cr from SIDBI’s FFS

Early-stage venture fund pi Ventures, which invests in artificial intelligence and deeptech startups, has received a commitment of Rs 100 crore or 15% of the corpus out of Fund of Funds for Startups managed by SIDBI. This is nearly about 2.5 times of what FFS had invested in the first fund.

The investment comes soon after pi Ventures announced an investment of Rs 22 crore from Belgium’s Colruyt Group in its second fund. In Jan 2022, the company announced the first close of its second fund at Rs 303.5 crore ($40 million), raising funds from entrepreneurs, HNIs and Family Offices from across the globe. 

With the commitment out of FFS, the fund is on track to do its final close in the second quarter of CY 2023 in the range of Rs 675 crores to Rs 750 crores, Pi Ventures said in a press release. The fund is backed by BII, Nippon India Digital Innovation AIF (NIDIA), Accel, Colruyt and entrepreneurs and family offices such as Binny Bansal, Varun Alagh, Samit Shetty, Rajesh Ranavat,, Anupam Mittal, Hemendra Kothari, Hitesh Oberoi, Ullas Kamath, Deep Kalra, senior leaders from IBM, Facebook and Google among others. 

pi Ventures will continue to focus on early stage (seed/ pre-Series A/Series A) investments via this fund. Their strategy will be to invest in start-ups focused on AI and other forms of deep tech across sectors including, but not limited to blockchain, spacetech, biotech and material science among others. So far, pi Ventures has committed in seven startups – ImmunitoAI, Ottonomy.IO, Silence Laboratories, Preimage and three other ventures. The fund further plans to invest in 20-25 such startups in the coming two to three years.

Unveiled by the Hon’ble Prime Minister on January 16, Fund of Funds for Startups (FFS) has a corpus of Rs 10,000 crore for contribution to various Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs) registered with SEBI. FFS facilitates funding needs for startups through participation in capital of SEBI registered Alternative Investment Funds.

Established in 2016 by Manish Singhal, pi Ventures closed its Fund I of Rs 225 crores ($30 million) in 2018. The first fund exceeded its target and was oversubscribed and has backed 15 deep tech startups including Niramai, Pixis, Wysa, Agnikul, Locus to name a few. The second fund was launched in March 2021 with a base target corpus of Rs 675 crores ($90 million) and including green shoe a target of Rs 750 crore ($100 million).

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