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Eximius Ventures Closes $10 Mn Fund For Early-stage Startups Plans to invest capital in 25-30 emerging startups in the next three years

By Prabhjeet Bhatla

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Eximius Ventures

Announcing its entry in the micro venture capital (VC) category in India, New-Delhi-headquartered Eximius Ventures, declared the first close of its maiden fund on Thursday. While it started in March 2020, the fund now plans to invest $10 million in early-stage startups with approximately $300,000 equity cheque per startup.

With over 50 years of cumulative experience, its team now plans to invest capital in at least 25-30 emerging startups in the next three years.

The fund is looking closely at startups in edtech, healthtech, fintech, and gaming sectors as well as in high potential industries such as B2B SaaS and online media and also gives precedence to female founders.

"As a fund investing in the pre-seed stage, we would primarily focus on addressing funding and accessibility gaps faced by startups and extend our support beyond capital to offer unconditional network access, expert guidance, help with future fundraising, and more. I am delighted to share that I have been able to create an Eximius community, which is strengthened by industry experts, thought leaders, and mentors who together create a nexus for founders to scale their startup," commented Pearl Agarwal, founder, and managing director, Eximius Ventures.

Agarwal is an active angel investor with 10 companies in her personal portfolio across edtech, fintech, and gaming, among other sectors. Her notable investments include Trell, Exprs, Ewar, BluSmart Mobility, GroMo, Redwing Labs, Nexweave, Lattu Kids, and Infeedo. Pearl has a dual degree in Economics & Finance from the University of Texas at Austin (McCombs School of Business).

As the next step, the fund wants to meet startups that have moved past their minimum viable product and have evidence of initial traction. Further, a strong founding team with relevant experience, initial market validation, and a view on the path to profitability adds additional merit to the entire evaluation criteria.

"As a woman entrepreneur myself, I want to create ample growth opportunities for women founders in India and want to set a precedent for them to enable them to become equal partners in building a sustainable economy. Also, as a micro VC fund, we are open to smaller seed investments and are excited about nurturing young talent in the industry. We have seen that founders today are spending a lot of time chasing angel investors and facilitating supporting paperwork. This time can be better utilized in focusing on product development and innovation. This is the gap that we are aiming to bridge in the ecosystem through Eximius," she added.

Micro VC as a space is already matured in the US with a 230 per cent increase in the number of micro VC funds closed in 2017 as compared to 2009. Micro VC space in India is still in its nascent stages. With the ecosystem expanding and more startups emerging everyday, there will be a need for more such agile funds in the near future. These focused funds will need to develop deep knowledge and expertise in notable sectors so as to move swiftly at the same pace as the angel investors and write much bigger cheques compared to individual angel investors with the additional visibility of follow-up on funding, the establishment further shared.

Prabhjeet Bhatla

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