Merak launches $100-mn debut fund | Mint
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Business News/ Companies / Start-ups/  Merak launches $100-mn debut fund
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Merak launches $100-mn debut fund

Merak will back business-to-business (B2B) and emerging technology firms with seed money to help create sustainable businesses and use technology to solve real problems and create large-scale impact

Sheetal Bahl (left) and Manu Rikhye, co-founders, Merak Ventures.  Premium
Sheetal Bahl (left) and Manu Rikhye, co-founders, Merak Ventures.  

MUMBAI : Merak Ventures is raising its maiden fund with a target corpus of $100 million, founders of the a sector-agnostic, early-stage venture capital (VC) firm Manu Rikhye and Sheetal Bahl said in an interview. The fund will invest in 18-20 startups in the next three-four years.

Merak will back business-to-business (B2B) and emerging technology firms with seed money to help create sustainable businesses and use technology to solve real problems and create large-scale impact, they added.

Despite its sector-agnostic nature, the fund will focus on themes including climatetech (agritech, mobility, carbon, digital solutions and climate finance), insurtech, and enterprise SaaS (software-as-a-service) startups.

“There are passionate founders who want to solve real-world problems and we want to empower them, not just with capital, but as a mentor-partner. We firmly believe businesses who solve authentic problems will always make for a sound investment," said Rikhye, partner, Merak.

Rikhye and Bahl, who previously managed growX ventures’ $25-million early-stage fund, will continue to manage the operations for Fund I. The growX brand is separate and RIkhye and Bahl have no role to play in it. The growX fund invested in 16 startups including Cynlr, Pixxel, and Progcap.

Merak hopes to hit the first close of its maiden fund by the year-end. “We are hoping to raise one-fourth to one-third of the corpus for the first close. The first set of investors for the first close are existing investors and then we will approach institutional investors both global and domestic," said Rikhye, adding that climate tech is a key investment theme that the fund will focus on.

Within climate tech, Merak is looking to invest in electric vehicles, batteries, carbon and digital solutions, and climate finance, Bahl said. “Merak is the culmination of a decade of thinking, learning, investing in the Indian startup ecosystem. It represents a strong belief that financial gains and impact, whether on industry, people, or the planet, are not mutually exclusive. And, it is built on the foundation of our passions – B2B and emerging technologies, and our values: boldness, empathy and fun."

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Swaraj Singh Dhanjal
" Based in Mumbai, Swaraj Singh Dhanjal is responsible for Mint’s corporate news coverage. For the past eight years he has been writing on the biggest deals in private equity, venture capital, IPO market and corporate mergers and acquisitions. An engineer and an MBA, he started his journalism career in 2014 with Mint. "
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Published: 29 Aug 2022, 12:33 AM IST
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