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Varanium Capital to invest INR 2 bn across 40 Indian FinTech startups over 3 years

Varanium Capital Advisors Private Limited logoVaranium Capital (VCAPL), a portfolio manager that provides investment and advisory services across public and private vehicles, has launched its first venture fund with a focus on the Indian FinTech segment. With a size of INR 2 billion, Varanium expects to close the fund, The Varanium NexGen, within a year from now. Varanium Capital is a boutique management company with an AUM of INR 50 billion in international and domestic portfolios.

The fund plans to write small ticket-size checks worth INR 2-5 crore each in about 30-40 startups over three years, said Aparajit Bhandarkar, Managing Partner of Varanium in an interview to IBS Intelligence adding the fund might look at follow-up rounds in the future. He further added that the fund, which has been raised from a clutch of high net-worth individuals and angel investors including Mohandas Pai with 10% of the fund is contributed by Varanium, would focus largely on the startups working on regulatory technology, NPA management, Robo-advisory, cybersecurity amongst others.

T S Anantakrishnan, the founder of Varanium Capital, said that “We would ideally want to look at startups with one big anchor client who can validate their business and their customer acquisition strategies and the potential size their products can achieve by 5 years.”  The fund is currently evaluating a few startups in the above-mentioned space and is likely to close a deal in the next couple of months, Anantakrishnan said adding that the VC would look at exiting some of its investments in the third or fourth year.

Asked if there are any plans to invest in global startups, Bhandarkar said, “FinTech adoption in India is one of the best globally with increased mobile-phone and Internet penetration… I think insurance and regulatory tech will become very big. Currently, we have just had the marketing of insurance and not had any startups solving the actual problems for insurance service delivery, which will slowly play up.”

Before setting up the Sebi-registered AIF category 1 fund, Bhandarkar was the CEO of a leading FinTech focused accelerator and fund. He has also seed invested, in his capacity, in startups such as Smartcoin, a micro-lending startup; Moneytor, a debt collection platform, and few others.

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