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Prime Venture Partners announces Fund IV of $100M, with a first close of $75M

Investment firm Prime Venture Partnershas announced the close of its Fund IV of $100 million, with a first close of $75 million (Rs 556 crore). Prime Venture Partners had raised $72 million in 2018, a second fund of $46 million in 2015, and a $8 million first fund in 2012.

Shripati Acharya, Managing Partner, Prime Venture Partners, said in a conversation with YourStory that the team would continue focusing on being the first institutional investor.

“As the saying goes: never fix anything that isn’t broken. Our philosophy has always been strong in supporting startups in the early days of the journey, and continuing to invest in them. We take relatively selective bets of five to six companies in a year. Prime’s philosophy is to be a high conviction investor,” he said.

In addition to existing focus areas of fintech, edtech, healthtech, consumer internet, and global SaaS, the firm expects to expand into new areas, including Decentralised Finance (DeFi)/crypto, electric vehicles, and gaming infrastructure platforms.

Prime also announced that it was actively looking to expand its leadership team by adding a fourth partner.

Prime Venture Partners’ Shripati Acharya (L), Sanjay Swamy, and Amit Somani

Speaking of fund raising during the pandemic, Shripati said, “It is interesting and different. We did all of our fund-raising on Zoom calls. It is a vote of confidence not just on us but also the Indian ecosystem and market. The excitement and proof regarding Indian tech startups is now being recognised by global investors.”

Fund Four investors include the International Finance Corporation (IFC), part of the World Bank Group, a top-tier university endowment, several returning family offices and institutions, and global technology entrepreneurs, across both the US and Southeast Asia.

Speaking of why India is a big market today, Shripati said one of the key features was digitisation of the economy.

India always had the infrastructure for a digital economy. This may seem counter intuitive, but compared to our physical infrastructure, our digital infrastructure is world class. The e-KYC, India stack, accounts that are Digital etc.

“The change in user behaviour with COVID has created a massive tailwind. For example, contactless payment and digital payments has seen massive growth, even with street vendors. We have the ability to make low value transactions online,” Shripati said.

Founded in 2012 by Shripati Acharya, and Sanjay Swamy, Prime added Amit Somani as a partner in 2015. With a view of bringing Silicon Valley-style professionalism to venture investing, Prime’s mission is to partner early with entrepreneurs and help build world-class technology companies that are addressing some of India’s most important problems.

A strong track record

Prime has a strong track record of investing in early-stage startups in India. As per the Cambridge Associates benchmarks, all of Prime’s funds are in the top decile of all global VC funds of their respective vintages.

Funds I to III are committed across 32 companies spanning sectors such as fintech, healthcare, SaaS, education, and logistics. Most of these companies have gone on to raise strong follow-on rounds of investment from other leading institutional investors in India, Silicon Valley, and Asia.

While most of Prime’s portfolio companies are focused on the booming Digital India opportunity, it also has several companies that target the US, Middle East, and other international markets, or that initially start in India and expand to other geographies.

Some notable Prime portfolio companies include interactive learning startup Quizziz, which is used by teachers in 120 countries and is backed by marquee investors such as Tiger Global, Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang and others. 

MyGate provides security software solutions for apartments that are being used across 20,000 societies and in 3.5 million households. Digital Health startup MFine is backed by SBI Holdings (Japan) & Heritas and clocks 12,000 daily consultations with more than 600 hospitals as partners.

Remote patient monitoring startup Dozee, which is transforming the Indian public healthcare infrastructure, India’s leading universal neobank NiYO, and pay-after-placement management programme Sunstone Eduversity are some of the other category-creating, high-growth startups in the Prime portfolio.

Edited by Teja Lele Desai

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