Mela Ventures, led by Mindtree founders, has announced the ₹320 crore final close of its maiden fund MV Core Tech Fund-I. The capital commitments were made by a diverse group of global investors, government institutions, tech professionals and family offices — including investments from Nippon India Digital Innovation AIF (NIDIA) and SIDBI Fund of Funds for Start-ups.

Parthasarathy NS, Managing Partner, Mela Ventures, told BusinessLine that 42 per cent of Mela Venture’s funds is coming from individuals belonging to CXO or CTO positions in the tech industry. “Such a distribution among LPs gives us two advantages — they put in the money as an investor; and as long as there’s no conflict of interest, they can also help us evaluate companies, be a sounding board for their approaches and at some point of time, be a Mela representative on the start-up’s board. So there are multiple ways in which we want to get them to be part of a larger ecosystem, even as they are working in the tech industry,” he added.

Rupee fund

Parthasarathy also noted that Mela Ventures is a rupee fund and 90 per cent of its LPs are from India. The reasoning behind this is the fund’s belief that in order to build a stronger ecosystem, it is important to create a domestic capital ecosystem as well. Mela Ventures is focussed on investing in early-stage B2B start-ups, and a select few Series A/B stage start-ups. Given the changing VC dynamics, and increased traction in the B2B space, the fund is now open to larger cheque sizes of up to $2 million.

Mela Ventures has invested in four start-ups as of date, and will make three more investments in the next 45-60 days. The fund has broadly outlined 40 per cent of its fund size for the first round of investments and 60 per cent for follow up rounds.

‘Great progress’

Commenting on the final close, Krishnakumar Natarajan, Managing Partner, Mela Ventures, said, “We’ve made great progress towards our mission to build next-generation entrepreneurs out of India. In last 18 months, we’ve invested in four futuristic organisations, onboarded a coveted team of advisors, and set up strong governance mechanisms. This is the primary reason for us to get an overwhelming response to the fund even in these challenging times. We continue to focus on our strategy of investing in B2B start-ups to capitalise on our extensive domain expertise across markets.”

Mela Ventures Trust is a SEBI-approved AIF Category-2 fund for early-stage companies. The fund focusses on building a portfolio in areas, such as AI/ML, AR/VR, IoT, Cloud Migration and Deep Technologies. Its portfolio includes companies like FirstHive, Voiro, General Aeronautics, and Inflilect.

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