Mamaearth and MFine-backer Stellaris Venture Partners closes second fund to make bigger bets in existing portfolio and up to 30 new startups

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Mamaearth and MFine-backer Stellaris Venture Partners closes second fund to make bigger bets in existing portfolio and up to 30 new startups
Partners at Stellaris Venture PartnersFree Press Journal
  • The latest fund allows Stellaris to make bets in Series A rounds and make follow-on investments in its portfolio companies.
  • Stellaris’ partner Rahul Chowdhri, highlighted that the firm would keep a large reserve of the fund for its best performing portfolio companies.
  • It has invested in 19 startups to date, which includes Mamaearth, Whatfix, MFine and Slintel.
Early-stage investment firm Stellaris Venture Partners has closed its second fund at $225 million to invest in 25-30 startups over the next few years. The firm usually invests in seed to Series A rounds, but the latest fund allows it to invest in larger Series A rounds and make follow-on investments in its portfolio companies.

Alok Goyal, partner at Stellaris, in an email interaction with Business Insider said, “We have a thesis-driven approach where we’ve backed companies that are new entrants in new categories. Some of these gamechangers from our first fund include Mamaearth, Whatfix and MFine to name a few. This will continue to be our investment strategy in the second fund.”

Rahul Chowdhri, partner at Stellaris, also emphasises that the $225 million fund would keep a large reserve for its best-performing portfolio companies and back them through 3-4 funding rounds.

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Some of the successful companies in Stellaris Venture Partners’ portfolio include:

BusinessUptick
MamaearthCOVID-19 brought many new transacting customers to consumer brand Mamaearth. The company is now valued at $730 million.
WhatfixWhatfix is a SaaS solution that helps organisations provide in-app guidance and performance support for web applications. After the tailwind of 2020, the company is now valued at half a billion.
MFineMFine provides virtual medical consultation, online prescriptions, lab tests and medicine delivery through a mobile application. The platform claims to have more than 3 lakh transactions a month.
Slintel Slintel builds sales intelligence tools for enterprise. The company claims to have seen 5-fold growth in both revenue as well as customer base in 2020 due to the pandemic.

Though the investment firm did not comment on the sectors it will be keeping a close eye on for their upcoming deals, Goyal did share the sectors Stellaris has a positive thesis on. This includes artificial intelligence (AI)-focused software-as-a-service (SaaS), fullstack healthcare, embedded financial services, creator economy to help creators make money from audiences, global consumer businesses from India, and developer and infrastructure software.

“India’s venture ecosystem has come of age over the last few years with large exits and a massive increase in the volume and quality of new startups. The larger second fund gives us dry powder to tap into this growing opportunity with an ability to back entrepreneurs with more capital and support them for longer. We keep a large reserve for our best-performing portfolio companies and back them through 3-4 funding rounds,” said Rahul Chowdhri, partner at Stellaris Venture Partners.
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With this fund, Stellaris Venture Partners now has more than $300 million in assets under management (AUM).

Stellaris Venture Partners closed its $50 million maiden fund in 2017 and has invested in 19 startups to date. The firm has already led a $1.5 million round in direct-to-consumer brand Zouk recently, and has four other startups in the pipeline, in 2021, for fund II. The firm was initially planning to raise $160 million for Fund II, but the round was oversubscribed by more than $50 million.

The fund has got three exits, till date, from e-sports gaming company Gaming Monk, snack vending machine company Kwik24 and e-commerce platform Shop101, according to data aggregation platform Crunchbase. Though the company has not shared much information about these exits.
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Commenting about the potential initial public offering (IPO) exits, Goyal told Business Insider, “Last 12 months have shown a very healthy investor appetite for tech IPOs and also the emergence of scaled start-ups that are ready to list. We expect this to only go up in the next 5-10 years. There is no specific number of IPOs we have in mind from our portfolio, though many of them are capable of being there in that timeframe.”

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