anicut: Anicut Capital picks up over $6 million from SIDBI startup fund


Venture debt investor Anicut Capital on Tuesday said it has raised Rs 50 crore (about $6 million) for its equity investments fund from the Small Industries Development Bank of India’s (SIDBI) Fund of Funds for Startups (FFS).

SIDBI is an existing investor in Anicut Capital and has invested in both of its debt funds. The bank had invested Rs 140 crore (about $16.9 million) in Anicut’s second debt fund. The Chennai-based firm will invest in early growth-stage companies as part of its emerging equity-based portfolio of startups, as per a statement.

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The investor had launched Grand Anicut Fund 3, also called Anicut Opportunities Fund, with a target corpus of Rs 500 crore (about $60.3 million) and an additional greenshoe option of Rs 250 crore (about $30.1 million) in June 2022. It has so far closed two-thirds of the fund and also received a commitment of Rs 75 crore (about $9 million) from the Self Reliant India Fund (SRI).

Within the first year of operations, the fund has invested in six companies. These are skincare brands Earth Rhythm and The Ayurveda Experience, footwear brand Neemans, fresh food supply chain startup Wheelocity, gourmet coffee roaster and cafe Blue Tokai Coffee, and mens apparel brand XYXX.

With its focus on the consumer and technology sectors, the fund aims to invest in 12-14 early growth-stage companies in the Series A and B stages across the Anicut and non-Anicut portfolios, over the next 18-24 months.

“This generous commitment from SIDBI not only provides us with the capital to invest in innovative startups but also solidifies our commitment to adding value to the burgeoning Indian startup industry,” said Dhruv Kapoor, partner, Anicut Equity Fund.

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“This investment isn’t just a vote of confidence in Anicut, but a strategic alignment aimed at boosting India’s evolving entrepreneurial landscape. We anticipate this collaboration to result in substantial, high-impact outcomes that will benefit the broader business community and contribute to the nation’s economic prosperity,” said SP Singh, CGM Incharge, Venture Finance, SIDBI.SIDBI’s FFS is a fund launched under the Startup India Initiative of the Indian government in January 2015. It contributes to the capital of Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi)-registered Alternative Investment Funds (AIF) instead of investing directly into startups.

Among other funds that have closed investments from FFS are early-stage venture firm Pi Ventures, which invests in artificial intelligence (AI) and deeptech startups. Last month, the Bengaluru-based firm announced the final close of its second fund with commitments of Rs 702 crore ($85 million).

“We are humbled to onboard SIDBI as an investor through the FFS initiative. Receiving funds from SIDBI’s FFS is a testament to our meticulous investment strategies and the robust portfolio we are building,” said Ashvin Chadha, founding partner, Anicut Capital.

Anicut Capital currently manages three debt funds, one angel fund and one early growth equity fund, with cumulative assets under management of Rs 1,600 crore (about $192.9 million). It has backed the likes of Wow! Momo, Bira, Sugar Cosmetics, ShareChat, Agnikul and ePlane, among others.

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