New Delhi: Early stage venture fund Pi Ventures, which focuses on artificial intelligence and internet of things-based (IoT) start-ups, has raised $6 million from the UK government’s CDC Group Plc.
The investment comes after pi Ventures completed the second close of its debut fund at $25 million in January this year, raising funds from Hero Enterprise chairman Sunil Kant Munjal, Electronic Development Fund (managed by Canbank Ventures) and the corporate financing arm of Hero Electronix, along with other high net-worth investors.
In a statement, the VC firm said it plans to complete its final and third closing for its debut fund shortly.
The fund is co-sponsored by In Colour Capital from Canada and backed by Small Industries Development Bank of India (Sidbi), Accel Partners, IFC, prominent angel investor T.V. Mohandas Pai and entrepreneurs such as Flipkart Group’s Binny Bansal, MakeMyTrip’s Deep Kalra, Bhupen Shah and Sanjeev Bikhchandani.
The fund will be used to invest in start-ups with deep-tech capabilities, or ventures building products using technologies such as AI and machine learning, pi Ventures said.
“This allows our capital to support early-stage companies that are innovating through technology to provide affordable goods and services at scale in areas such as healthcare among others," said Alagappan Murugappan, managing director and head of Intermediated Equity for South Asia at CDC.
CDC Group typically focuses on sectors including financial services, infrastructure, health, manufacturing, food and agriculture, construction and real estate, and education. The 70-year-old CDC Group has been investing in India for over 30 years and, so far, has made 595 investments across these sectors.
“CDC’s confidence fuels our vision to find, fund and support the best teams who are using artificial intelligence to solve real world problems," said Manish Singhal, founding partner, pi Ventures.
Founded by Singhal and Umakant Soni, pi Ventures has made six investments so far, including SaaS start-up CustomerSuccessBox, logistics company Locus and health-tech firm SigTuple, among others.