Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Binny Bansal come together to back the latest VC firm Arkam ⁠— and it’s not a Batman reference

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Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Binny Bansal come together to back the latest VC firm Arkam ⁠— and it’s not a Batman reference
Binny Bansal and Vijay Shekhar SharmaBI India
  • Paytm’s Vijay Shekhar Sharma and Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal have invested in Arkam Ventures – which was previously called Unitary Helion.
  • They have been joined by the likes of Naukri co-founder Sanjeev Bikchandani, MakeMyTrip CEO Rajesh Magow and others to invest in the fund.
  • The fund is led by Rahul Chandra and Bala Srinivasa, both veterans in the VC industry. The fund has closed its first round for ₹325 crore and hopes to raise a total of ₹700 crore.
Paytm’s Vijay Shekhar Sharma and Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal have invested in Arkam Ventures – which was previously called Unitary Helion. The Paytm and Flipkart founder were joined by the likes of Naukri co-founder Sanjeev Bikchandani, MakeMyTrip CEO Rajesh Magow and others to invest in the fund.

The Mumbai-based fund is led by Rahul Chandra and Bala Srinivasa, both veterans in the venture capital space. The fund has closed its first round for ₹325 crore and hopes to raise a total of ₹700 crore.

Chandra in a LinkedIn post explained that the fund will be focusing on the next 400 million users of India and the companies that cater to that.

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“Our thesis for this fund is “Middle India by Design”. We believe that the Next 400M market - consumers just below the top of the pyramid making between ₹3 lakh and ₹20 lakh a year in family income - will be the primary driver of a new digital India. Almost seventy percent of wallet share of these consumers is distributed across four sectors - financial services, healthcare, food/grocery and mobility,” he wrote.

With these four sectors in mind, the VC firm will look at founders who are developing tech solutions in them.

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, India’s homegrown investment firms are gaining momentum. And that’s what has been advocated by the likes of Infosys co-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan as well. “We have to create Indian VC (venture capital) firms. We have to create Indian funds that are billion dollars or ten billion dollars. The wealth is there, you know, whatever data we have shows that you know, maybe two trillion to three trillion dollars of wealth is there in private hands in India. So some of that has to actually flow into this ecosystem,” Gopalakrishnan said in a chat with Sudhir Sethi of Chiratae Ventures.

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Chandra too believes that the coronavirus pandemic has “significantly accelerated the digitization momentum”. “While the short-term is likely to be challenging for start-ups with a lot of uncertainty around the business environment, we think it's a great time to start a new business or find ways to stay relevant with an existing one. Tough times are often the crucible from which brilliant ideas and market winners emerge and we don't believe that this crisis will be any different,” he wrote.

While at first sight Arkam might seem like a Batman reference, Arkam in Sanskrit actually means limitless, boundaryless, or without constraints.

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