9Unicorns has announced the third close of its first accelerator fund at $40 million to fund idea-stage startups in India. The third close witnessed participation from global and Indian industrialists and businesses who are bullish on the high growth potential of early-stage Indian startups. Some of the key LPs include snack maker Haldiram’s, Indian Bank, Ahmedabad-based Chona Family Office, among other prominent ones.
The Venture Catalysts (VCats)-backed accelerator’s total fund size is $70 million and plans to mark the final close this year. 9Unicorns plans to write the first external cheque to about 150 early-stage startups in Deeptech, B2B SaaS, Media, FMCG, Fintech, Insuretech, Healthtech, Edutech, Travel logistics, among other sectors over the next year.
Apoorva Ranjan Sharma, Managing Director and Founder of 9Unicorns, said,
“As a fund, we aim to back early-stage companies that have the potential to become billion-dollar companies in the future. We have made our third close much before our set target and are looking to make the final close soon to propel an already thriving startup economy. Our agility and speed at which we raise and deploy our funds differentiate us from others.”
In addition to the third close, the Mumbai-based accelerator fund has also launched a program called ‘Catalysts Program,’ the initiative is designed to build an open community of founders, CXOs, and the ecosystem drivers to recognise, fund, and mentor early-stage startups. The idea is to identify and shortlist curated startups to 9Unicorns for investment and co-investment, mentor the existing portfolio startups for three to five months, and introducing institutional investors for next-round financing in 9Unicorns deals.
Built on Y Combinator lines, the Mumbai-based sector-agnostic fund has already committed investments in about 40 startups within seven months of its first close. 9Unicorns’ portfolio includes interactive video shopping platform Toch.ai, revenue-based financing firm Klub, fertility care provider Janani, marketing automation firm ExtraaEdge, audio production automation firm Deepsync, D2C lifestyle footwear brand Monrow, and edutech Qin1.
As an accelerator fund, 9Unicorns invests around $150,000 for 5-7 percent equity per startup at the idea stage. As of December 2020, it has syndicated over Rs 240Crs with co-investors such as Sequoia Surge, Titan Capital, SOSV, Lightspeed, Matrix Partners, and Nexus Ventures amongst others. The syndication also includes likes of Ritesh Agarwal (OYO), Pankaj Chaddah (Zomato), Anand Chadrashekharan (Facebook), Ramakant Sharma (LivSpace), Amrish Rau (Citrus Pay), Harsh Shah (Fynd), Manindar Gulati (OYO), Vikalp Sahni (Goibibo) and Sanjiv Bajaj (Bajaj Capital) amongst hundred others.
9Unicorns is backed by several well-known global VCs and LPs from across ten countries, family offices of large organisations such as The OPG Group, The MBG Group, Parakh Foods, Qualcomm International, UB Cotton, along-with top executives from SAP, Linkedin, Quest Global, AB InBev, Fujitsu besides several Unicorn & Decacorn founders.