Mumbai, India – Varanium Capital Advisors, an asset management firm based in Mumbai, has successfully reached the first close of its debut venture debt fund, raising INR 250 crore with an additional green-shoe option of INR 50 crore. The firm intends to utilize this fund to support approximately 100 startups in India by employing a combination of revenue-based financing and traditional venture debt strategies. Varanium Capital, known for managing a diversified portfolio worth $1 billion, offers services in structured debt, portfolio management, and operates the Varanium NexGen Fund, a Category-I alternative investment fund with a primary focus on early-stage fintech startups. The firm has already provided backing to 12 startups from its equity fund, including Easebuzz, Riskcovry, Finvu, and Homeville.
T.S. Anantakrishnan, Founder of Varanium Capital, explained the significance of the venture debt fund, stating, “The venture debt fund will provide financial backing to startups in sectors such as D2C, SaaS, B2B commerce, and fintech, who require capital for scaling their operations. With a corpus size of INR 250 crore, the fund is well-positioned to provide timely capital injections, enabling startups to seize growth opportunities and expand their market reach.”
Nawal Bachhuka, formerly the risk head for SME and SEG (west) at Aditya Birla Finance Limited, has been appointed as the manager of the venture debt fund. The fund’s senior management team includes key individuals from IndusInd Bank, such as former CEO Ramesh Sobti, former Chief Risk Officer K.S. Sridhar, former head of corporate lending Suhail Chander, and former COO Paul Abraham. The investment committee comprises Anantakrishnan, Aparajit Bhandarkar, Suhail Chander, and Sridhar.
The venture debt fund has garnered participation from both domestic and global limited partners, securing an anchor investor as well. Additionally, commitments have been made by high net-worth individuals (HNIs), seasoned entrepreneurs, and former CEOs and CXOs of banks. The growing interest in venture debt investments within the current funding landscape has prompted several venture debt firms, such as Stride Ventures and Alteria Capital, to announce new funds over the past year. Earlier this year, Singapore-based Lighthouse Canton also announced the first close of its inaugural Indian venture debt fund, amounting to INR 550 crore.
Varanium Capital’s milestone achievement with the first close of its venture debt fund highlights the firm’s commitment to supporting and nurturing the growth of promising startups in India. As the fund deploys its capital to assist budding entrepreneurs, it is anticipated to contribute significantly to the flourishing startup ecosystem and foster innovation across various sectors in the country.
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