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2021-06-02

Stride Ventures, a venture debt fund, is launching Stride Ventures India Fund II with a targeted corpus of ?1,000 crore and a green-shoe option to raise an additional ?875 crore. The firm will continue investing in early-to-late stage start-ups with ticket size from the new fund expected to go up to ?70 crore, up from ?25-30 crore in Fund-I.

The new fund will have a commitment period of four years within which the capital will be deployed and recycled. With its ability to recycle capital, Stride will effectively have more than ?3,000 crore for funding start-ups through venture debt and offer multifaceted credit solutions to its portfolio companies.

While the fund is sector agnostic, it will look to invest primarily in sectors such as B2B Commerce and SaaS, Consumer, HealthTech, FinTech, AgriTech, among others. Similar to the first fund, the second fund is expected to witness participation from large family offices, sovereign funds, PE funds, insurance firms, and HNIs across India, Singapore and GCC.

Also read: How VCs, PEs are raising money to fund start-ups despite the raging pandemic

^As founders become increasingly aware about debt and alternative capital for non-dilutive structures, our deployments have grown considerably as we partner with fundamentally strong companies. Since inception, our endeavour has been to adopt a partner-centric approach and cater to the distinctive credit requirements of new-age businesses in India. Despite the pandemic, our Fund has served as a good diversification for our investors¨ asset allocation, having continued to post consistent returns. We have seen interest from all our existing investors and are looking at on-boarding new investors as well for Fund II. With these considerations in mind, we are looking at the first close of our second Fund within the next three months, ̄ said Ishpreet Gandhi, founder and Managing Partner, Stride Ventures.

Founded in 2019, Stride Ventures closed its maiden fund earlier this year after overshooting its initial target corpus of ?350 crore. It has funded more than 20 companies from Stride Ventures India Fund-I. Some of the key deals for the maiden fund have been in growth stage start-ups including Pocket Aces, Miko, SUGAR Cosmetics etc, and late stage start-ups such as Infra.market, Spinny, Home Lane, Zetwerk and Bizongo. With zero delinquencies, the first fund is on track to deliver its target IRR (internal rate of return) 18-19 per cent notwithstanding the economic disruption due to Covid-19. The firm has also been one of the most active venture debt companies this year, having disbursed over ?200 crore since January 2021.

Apoorva Sharma, an ex-investment banker and former Principal at the firm, has been promoted as Partner for the second fund. Apoorva comes from a corporate lending and investment banking background with prior stints at HSBC and the Xander Group amongst others. The firm¨s 20 member-strong team, with a broad range of experience and expertise across Corporate and Investment Banking, Consulting, Investing, etc. have significantly contributed to the success of the first fund.

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