Early-stage venture capital firm First Cheque today announced it has raised Rs 38 crore from a clutch of global investors for its second fund to invest in 50 startups in the next 18 months.
Prior to this, The VC firm used to operate as an AngelList syndicate, having invested in over 100 startups in the last three years. The closure of its second fund takes the firm’s total assets under management to Rs 90 crore.
According to a statement, First Cheque will focus on first-time founders and will invest $100,000 in each of its portfolio startups.
It aims to be the earliest institutional capital available for founders and seeks to achieve this by investing at the pre-seed stage. The sector-agnostic fund is also open to backing founding teams at the paper-plan stage.
"We are looking to back founders with less emphasis on conventional prerequisites such as educational pedigree, previous founding experience and conviction from other VCs. In our investment decision, ‘Founder-Market Fit’ will take precedence over these factors," said Prateek Agarwal, investment lead, First Cheque.
We believe that India needs more seed-stage institutional capital and mentorship, which we aim to provide via our founder community, dedicated program and a network of seasoned investors and venture partners," Prateek said.
The firm in a statement said it has streamlined its deployment process to less than 30 days, it is also looking to launch the in-house program with founders, sector experts, and venture capitalists to share experiences around building a company, GTM (go-to-market) strategy, hiring and retention, monetization, and fundraising.
Notably, it also works with over 50 venture partners, consisting of founders, product managers, community managers, sector experts and growth managers. The firm is looking to onboard undergraduate venture fellows.
The team at First Cheque also actively helps portfolio companies by securing lucrative deals with large enterprises like AWS, Cloudflare, and MongoDb, among others. It has secured deals with more than 50 such enterprises, so far.
Additionally, the VC firm said it will be organizing bi-annual demo days with leading VCs, simplifying the fundraising process for their portfolio companies. Fashinza, Giva, Rocketlane, Fleetx, Wint Wealth, Plaza/Rigi, Global Fair, Drink Prime, and Bellatrix Aerospace, are some of its portfolio startups.
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