Unicorn India Ventures launches ₹600 crore venture debt fund

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Unicorn India Ventures, a venture capital firm that is being run by former SEBI chief M Damodaran, has announced the launch of its new venture debt fund with a corpus of about ₹600 crore.

The fund, which is register in SEBI, is planning to invest in about 10 ventures in one year, and the average ticket size for the deals would be around ₹20 crore and will remain invested in the startup for around eight years.

To run the venture debt fund, prominent investor Sudip Bandyopadhyay has been roped in as a Managing Partner. M Damodaran says that the fund will make the first round of investments in the first thee years. It will be followed by a second round of investments in the next three years.

He notes that the venture debt is still not very popular in the country, and says that the “last year there were $7 billion investments in startups. Excluding unicorns like Flipkart and Ola, smaller startups garnered about $3 billion. This indicates that there is a conservative potential of about $500 million at least for venture debt funding.”

Besides the venture debt fund, Unicorn India Ventures is also in the midst of achieving the final close of its first equity fund worth over ₹100 crore.

Founded in 2016 by Anil Joshi and Bhaskar Majumdar, the VC firm has already invested around 25 percent of its corpus in around 10 start-ups including micro-lending platform SmartCoin, rental marketplace GrabOnRent, digital-marketing-focused Boxx.ai and pharmaceutical-sector-focused SaaS startup Pharmarack.