Equanimity Investments achieves first close of Rs70 crore
Mumbai: Equanimity Investments, an early-stage venture capital (VC) fund founded by former Franklin Templeton Investment senior executive Rajesh Sehgal, has achieved its first close at Rs70 crore.
Sehgal, who started raising his debut VC fund last year, is targeting to raise at least Rs100 crore with a green shoe option of another Rs100 crore.
“We have a Rs100 crore fund with a green shoe option of another Rs100 crore. We clearly have the visibility of closing Rs200 crore. We are deploying part of the Rs70 crore in at least three to four companies,” said Sehgal, managing partner, Equanimity Investments.
Sehgal said that he expects to reach a final close of the fund in the next six months. “Before the end of this year, we will wrap up the fund and start investing heavily,” he added.
The Mumbai-based early-stage fund is sector agnostic.
Sehgal, who was earlier part of Franklin Templeton Investment’s Indian arm, has made several start-up investments in his personal capacity as an angel investor.
In October, Equanimity announced it was tying up with Sanctum Wealth Management to help the fund tap the high net-worth clientele of the wealth management company. According to Sehgal, the focus areas of the fund involve new products, new services, technologies and intellectual property rights-based business models.
“We are backing companies which are using technology as their backbone. Though we are not a tech fund, we look for businesses that have a strong technological support. We are finding investments across fintech companies, data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and software as a service companies,” Sehgal said.
The firm is open to investing in both the business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) segments, he added.
“We are already in advanced discussions with companies and are planning to close some deals; most of them do fit our criteria of technology as the backbone,” he said. The fund is in the process of closing two deals in the fintech and data analytics space in the next 30 days, he added.
Equanimity is looking to invest in around 20 start-ups, with ticket sizes ranging from $1-3 million. Investors who have so far backed Equanimity include Mark Mobius of Templeton Emerging Markets Group and Vijay Advani, president of the investment management arm of TIAA, Nuveen.
“We have a few global investors in our fund. Most of the investors are professionals of large firms across the world, largely in India and US,” said Sehgal.
In his personal capacity Sehgal has invested in 22 start-ups since 2007, and has exited successfully from eight of them.
These include EduPristine, GreenDust, Dhama Innovations, Zipdial, Speak Well Skills Academy, Textual Analytics, Express Bike Works and Squeakee.