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BENGALURU : Artha Venture Fund (AVF), an early-stage micro-venture capital fund, has launched Artha Access, through which it will invest in pre-seed funding rounds, via its associations with multiple accelerators across the country, it said on Thursday.

AVF has earmarked a corpus from its closed fund of 225 crore and will invest up to 25 lakh in each transaction. Artha Access will invest in 40 deals by 2025.

Smooth deal execution, adequate handholding and fast turnaround times are possible because of AVF’s partnership with India Accelerator, Huddle and Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Calcutta Innovation Park, the fund said.

The accelerators will carry out the due diligence and on-boarding process, while AVF will provide the startups access to its widespread network and ecosystem, besides co-investing with the accelerators.

AVF has just closed a deal through these partnerships and as a result, invested in TheRollNumber in August.

India has witnessed significant growth in startup funding, which in the first six months of 2021 touched $10.1 billion with 543 deals. However, most deal-making occurs in the late-stage funding rounds, with the early stage struggling to beat the 2016 peak, AVF said.

Artha Access, which has taken note of this gap, gives pre-seed stage founders funds and access to the entire funding spectrum.

“We are thrilled to have partnered with India Accelerator, Huddle and IIM Calcutta Innovation Park and are eager to associate with other accelerators," said Anirudh A. Damani, managing partner, Artha Venture Fund.

“With the geographical spread for startup funding expanding to the Big 8, startups in tier-2 and 3 cities are gaining significant momentum, with a knack for solving real-human problems," he said.

“The overwhelming response to AVF’s maiden fund is a clear indicator that investor appetite is increasing. We aim to satiate this hunger by expanding our portfolio across the funding spectrum, strengthening our deal flow for follow-on rounds," he said.

“Moreover, with AVF writing the first cheque at the ideation stage, the startups will benefit with the structure, process and network of an institutional fund such as ours," he said.

Select startups will have an opportunity to secure funding upwards of 18 crore ($2.5 million) in follow-on rounds from AVF, as part of the Artha Access programme.

 

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