9Unicorns Raises 100 Crore Amidst Pandemic from Investors Globally

Mumbai, Maharashtra, India | February 8, 2021: 9Unicorns, a catalyst-accelerator venture capital fund, announced its second close of Rs 200 Croatian rupee, in response to growing interest from domestic and international investors to invest in Indian start-ups. 9Unicorns achieved its second close in six months after its first close of Rs 100 Croatian rupee in August last year, indicating positive sentiment in India’s fast-growing start-up ecosystem. (S-R) – Anuj Golecha, Gaurav Jain, Dr. Apoorva Ranjan Sharma, Abhijit Pai, Anil Jain.

The second and final meeting brought together leading Indian and global industrialists and businessmen, including the country’s oldest and largest manufacturer of confectionery and snacks, Haldiram’s, which has overtaken several multinationals like Hindustan Unilever and Nestlé in the packaged food segment.

Commenting on Haldiram’s investment in 9Unicorns, CEO Kamal Agrawal said, “Our investment in 9Unicorns fits well with our ideology of actively contributing to the era of India’s startup universe. Through this partnership, we look forward to actively working with the team at 9Unicorns to bring our expertise and mentorship to bear on 9Unicorns’ innovative digital investment projects.”

Indian company Y Combinator, Mumbai Accelerator, has also increased its total capital to 500 Croatian rupees by using the “green shoe” option in a difficult economic environment. The “green shoe” option allows any venture capital or private equity fund to raise funds above its initial endowment after obtaining a significant percentage of LP (limited partners)/investors.

9Unicorns aims to raise the full amount of Rs.500 in the coming months from various sources including corporates, family offices and institutions across the globe. The fund plans to issue the first external check to over 100 startups in sectors such as DeepTech, B2B SaaS, Media, FMCG, FinTech, InsureTech, HealthTech, EduTech, Travel, Logistics and others.

Dr. Apoorva Ranjan Sharma closed the conference for the second time by saying, “Last year was indeed a great year for the startup system, in which 11 Unicorns saw the light of day. As a foundation, we want to support start-ups that have the potential to grow into billion dollar companies in the future.” I expect the number of unicorns in India to quadruple in the coming years, compared to today’s 44, which will give many investors the opportunity to support this emerging asset class and earn multiple returns.”

He added, “We closed our second deal with another 100 rupee crore in just six months after the first closing – a feat that was difficult to achieve even in times of pandemic. We will soon close the rest of the fund to strengthen the entrepreneurial network in India, especially in non-metropolitan countries.”

It is also important to mention here that 9Unicorns has become the most aggressive and fastest growing player in India, with 32 contracts in the first year after launch, according to data from leading startup research firms – Tracxn and CrunchBase. Last year, the company invested in more than 32 startups, including Toch, Janani and Qin1, which have already completed additional rounds of funding.

In addition, the Mumbai Accelerator Fund has launched a program to disrupt the traditional venture capital (VC) structure. The initiative, dubbed the “Catalyst Program,” aims to create an open community of founders, CXOs and ecosystem boosters to identify, fund and mentor startups. The program is jointly managed with the 9Unicorns Fund and aims to create a network of more than 1,000 catalysts worldwide.

As an accelerator fund, 9Unicorns invests approximately $100,000 for 5-7% equity for each stage of the idea’s launch. As of December 2020, it has syndicated over Rs 240 with co-investors such as Sequoia Surge, Titan Capital, SOSV, Lightspeed, Matrix Partners, Nexus Ventures and others. The syndicate also includes some of the country’s leading “super angels”, namely Ritesh Agarwal (OYO), Pankaj Chadda (Zomato), Anand Chadrashekharan (Facebook), Ramakant Sharma (LivSpace), Amrish Rau (Citrus Pay), Harsh Shah (Fynd), Manindar Gulati (OYO), Vikalp Sahni (Goibibo) and Sanjib Bajaj (Bajaj Capital), among hundreds of others.

However, the difference lies in the fact that 9Unicorns gives start-ups access to the huge Indian business community in Tier 1, 2, 3 and 4 cities in India, giving them immediate access to the pan-Indian market. This provides direct upstream customers, distribution partnerships and portfolio synergies for start-ups by leveraging the existing network of over 4,000 investors, founders and senior executives in the VCats ecosystem.

9Unicorns is backed by several of the world’s leading venture capitalists, lawyers from ten countries, family offices of major companies such as OPG Group, MBG Group, Parakh Foods, Qualcon International, UB Cotton and senior executives from SAP, Linkedin, Quest Global, AB InDev, Fujitsu and several founders of Unicorn & Decacorn.

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