FreshtoHome and BlueStone-backer Iron Pillar is planning to bring assets worth $1 billion under management

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FreshtoHome and BlueStone-backer Iron Pillar is planning to bring assets worth $1 billion under management
Iron Pillar’s managing partner Anand PrasannaIron Pillar
  • Iron Pillar invests in Series B to Series C rounds of technology-focused startups.
  • Its portfolio includes conversational AI startup Uniphore, online jewellery seller BlueStone and edtech Testbook.
  • The company has made 12 investments since 2016 and has received one exit to date.
Technology-focused investment firm Iron Pillar is expecting to double its assets under management (AUM) by the end of 2022, as its portfolio companies continue to thrive during the pandemic. The company currently has a AUM of $500 million and is expected to hit $1 billion by December 2022.

Iron Pillar is also looking to close 2021 with seven to eight investments. The investment firm has already closed four fresh deals so far, which includes edtech startup Skill-Lync that offers upskilling courses for engineers, conversational artificial intelligence (AI) startup Uniphore and cloud-based automation platform Ushur.

The investment firm typically invests $5 million to $15 million in Series B and Series C rounds — or in companies with an average revenue run rate (ARR) of $4 million to $10 million. “On the breakout companies, we continue investing till they [go for an] IPO/M&A [initial public offering or mergers and acquisitions] and can invest $50-100 million in each company as they scale up,” Iron Pillar’s managing partner Anand Prasanna told Business Insider.

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“Nothing has fundamentally changed in our investment thesis since we were investing primarily in cloud software companies building from India for the world, right from 2016. But COVID has further solidified our conviction in the space with our portfolio recording a 2.4 times average growth over last year, maintaining strong unit economics. This strong performance is continuing as we speak and so we are more bullish on the space,” Prasanna said.

Iron Pillar’s portfolio has 12 startups including — device management platform Servify, cloud governance and compliance platform CoreStack, vegetables and meat e-commerce platform FreshtoHome, online jewellery platform BlueStone and competitive exams preparation platform Testbook.

The investment firm does not have any unicorn — startups valued at or above $1 billion — to its portfolio, yet. However, a recent report by investment firm Chiratae Ventures and consulting firm Zinnov highlighted that Uniphore is going to be among the next software-as-a-service (SaaS) unicorns soon.

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The report, released in July 2021, also named MindTickle and workforce management software FarEye to be next in line of the unicorn club. Of this, MindTickle has already announced its unicorn round of $100 million led by SoftBank.

Iron Pillar, founded in 2016, closed its first fund at $90 million in October 2018. It later raised another $45 million in May 2020 to top up the first fund.

The investment firm launched its fund II in April-June quarter of 2021. The fund II has received $10 million from Indian exporter of processed foods and agro commodities Allana Group. Iron Pillar has not shared the total targeted corpus of fund II due to international regulations.

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“Our first fund was closed in October of 2018. So, it is early for us to talk about large exits. We have already had one exit, where [sic] NowFloats was acquired by Reliance Jio. We made a good IRR [internal rate of return] on this investment,” Prasanna said.

NowFloats offers SaaS solutions to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to expand their digital presence. The company was acquired by Reliance for ₹141.6 crore ($19 million) in 2019.

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