Piper Serica, an angel fund that focuses on technology-backed start-ups, plans to invest ₹125 crore over the next 18-24 months.

The fund has raised ₹105 crore since October 2022 and has already invested ₹30 crore in 12 start-ups, said Abhay Agarwal, Director at Piper Serica Advisors. Going forward, it will invest in 12 start-ups within the next 12 months, with an average ticket size ranging ₹3–4 crore per start-up.

“We will raise another ₹20 crore this month, which will take the fund size to ₹125 crore. Over the next 18–24 months, we intend to deploy the entire fund, after which we will start with making the fund exit and returning the funds to the investors,” he told businessline.

To ensure diversification within its portfolio, the fund aims to have approximately 30-35 companies. As a result, they have decided to set a cap of ₹3-4 crore per investment to achieve this goal.

Also read: Beej Network to invest over $3 million in 24 early stage start-ups

Sector investing

For this fund, the focus is on investing in start-ups that are using technology to serve various sectors. “These sectors can be financial services, healthcare, climate control, space, and retail. Consequently, while we are keen to invest in only tech-based start-ups, we are open to their servicing any sector where they can create tangible ROIs for their customers,” Agarwal explained.

Piper indicates that the investment pace remains strong, with only high-quality companies receiving funding from investors due to funding freeze. Founders are also displaying flexibility regarding valuations and prioritising raising capital if it is accessible, rather than prolonging the fundraising process, he added.

As they expect to close the fund within the next two years, he said the current market conditions favour the investors, creating a “buyer’s market,” which enables them to swiftly finalise investment deals.

Also read: Despite funding winter, India is the third largest startup ecosystem globally: NASSCOM

Funding winter

Fundraising in the current environment continues to be challenging; however, according to Rajni Agarwal, Director of Piper Serica Angel Fund, they have strategically capitalised on the ‘funding winter,’ harnessing it to their advantage. “Leveraging this unique market landscape, we have made exceptional investments so far and cultivated a robust pipeline of investment opportunities,” he added.

It has invested in companies such as ALT Mobility, a full-stack EV leasing platform offering mobility as a service (MaaS) for commercial vehicle users; Castler, an escrow platform, Floworks, an AI-enabled sales team assistant; Crediwatch, an information intelligence platform; Zippee, a physical network of micro warehouses (dark stores); and more, and is in the process of completing another four deals.