Samir Sood, founder of Venture Highway.
Samir Sood, founder of Venture Highway.

Venture Highway raises $78.6 million to fund early-stage tech firms

  • A large part of the fresh fund raise will be used for new investments in about 30 early-stage tech companies
  • Samir Sood says Venture Highway is a founder-focused seed fund that partners with the next generation of tech entrepreneurs by providing guidance, capital

NEW DELHI : Early-stage venture capital (VC) firm Venture Highway on Thursday said it raised $78.6 million for its second fund focused on technology seed investments in India.

Founded in 2015 by Samir Sood, the fund has investments by him and Neeraj Arora, former global business head at WhatsApp, who is an adviser and the founding anchor limited partner of the Mauritius-headquartered fund.

“A large part of the fresh raise will be used for new investments in about 30 early-stage tech companies over the life of this fund," Sood said over the phone. These include fintech startup OKCredit, mobile e-sports platform Mobile Premier League (MPL), door-to-door fuel delivery startup MyPetrolPump, supply chain Saas platform O4S and CityFurnish, online rental platform for furniture and consumer appliances.

Sood said Venture Highway is a founder-focused seed fund that partners with the next generation of Indian technology entrepreneurs by providing guidance and early rounds of institutional capital.

The average cheque size for the second fund is expected to be $1 million Sood said. Venture Highway, which claims to be backed strong Silicon Valley investors, will partner with capital-efficient technology businesses.

“We are extremely passionate about helping advise technology entrepreneurs build their businesses with our local and global networks. Our goal is to give back to our country’s early-stage ecosystem and we continue to be extremely excited about the quality of the current generation of entrepreneurs building large businesses out of India," Sood said.

Sood has previously worked at global technology firms such as Google, Microsoft and Cisco Systems.

While working for Google, Sood led Google’s investments in several first time seed-stage funds in India such as Erasmic Venture Fund, which is now Accel India.

Venture Highway’s first fund backed founders in startups such as reseller network Meesho and vernacular social network ShareChat, which are among the top 30 soonicorns in India. Some of its other early-stage investments have been in B2B industrial goods marketplace Moglix, social commerce startup WMall and fintech startup Wishfin.

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