A commitment of Rs 100 crore, or 15% of the corpus, from the Fund of Funds for Startups managed by SIDBI has been made to the early-stage venture fund pi Ventures, which invests in deeptech and artificial intelligence startups. Nearly 2.5 times as much money was invested by FFS in the first fund as this is.
The investment comes shortly after pi Ventures revealed a 22-crore rupee contribution to its second fund from the Colruyt Group in Belgium. The company raised money from business owners, HNIs, and family offices around the world, and in January 2022 announced the first close of its second fund at Rs 303.5 crore ($40 million).
The fund is on track to complete its final close in the second quarter of CY 2023 in the range of Rs 675 crores to Rs 750 crores thanks to the commitment from FFS, Pi Ventures stated in a press release. The fund is supported by BII, Nippon India Digital Innovation AIF (NIDIA), Accel, Colruyt, as well as businesspeople and family offices like Binny Bansal, Varun Alagh, Samit Shetty, Rajesh Ranavat, Anupam Mittal, Hemendra Kothari, Hitesh Oberoi, Ullas Kamath, Deep Kalra, and senior executives from Google, Facebook, IBM, and other companies.
Through this fund, pi Ventures will keep concentrating on early-stage (seed, pre-Series A, and Series A) investments. Their approach will be to fund start-ups in industries such as, but not limited to, blockchain, spacetech, biotech, and material science that are focused on AI and other deep tech. Pi Ventures has invested in seven startups so far, including ImmunitoAI, Ottonomy.IO, Silence Laboratories, Preimage, and three other businesses. The fund also has investments in 20 to 25 of these startups in the next two to three years.
The Fund of Funds for Startups (FFS), announced by the Honorable Prime Minister on January 16, has a corpus of Rs 10,000 crore for contributions to various Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs) registered with SEBI.
Through participation in the capital of Alternative Investment Funds that are registered with SEBI, FFS helps startups with their funding needs.
Pi Ventures, which Manish Singhal founded in 2016, closed its $30 million (Rs 225 crore) Fund I in 2018. The first fund, which supported 15 deep tech startups including Niramai, Pixis, Wysa, Agnikul, and Locus to name a few, exceeded its goal and was oversubscribed. With a base target corpus of Rs 675 crores ($90 million) and a target of Rs 750 crores ($100 million) for green shoe, the second fund was introduced in March 2021.