- 9Unicorns is an early-stage venture fund managed by Venture Catalyst.
- The fund has invested in early-stage startups such as Mitron, Signalx, Instoried, among others.
- OPG Group, Parakh Foods, the MBG Group, among several other investment firms invested in the fund.
Mumbai-based Venture Catalyst’s early-stage venture fund 9Unicorn has raised Rs 100 crore (or about $13.7 million) from India’s leading snack maker Haldiram’s, doubling its investment fund to Rs 200 crore after it had raised Rs 100 crore in August 2020.
Meanwhile, the startup accelerator is also in talks with companies and investors to raise another Rs 300 crore, meeting the target to increase its corpus to Rs 500 crore, it said in a statement. With this development, the fund aims to fund more than 100 startups in the next three years.
The fund has already made early-stage investments in startups including Toch, Klub, Deepsync, Mitron, GoNuts, SignalX, Instoried, among several others.
Along with Haldiram’s, 9Unicorn is backed by the OPG Group, the MBG Group, Parakh Foods, Qualcon International, UB Cotton, along with executives from SAP, LinkedIn, Quest Global, AB InBev, and Fujitsu.
Founded in 2020 by Apoorva Ranjan Sharma, Anuj Golecha, Gaurav Jain, and Anil Jain, 9Unicorn claims to be Indian’s first startup accelerator fund, which makes early-stage investments in emerging startups. The fund usually invests $100K for a 5-7% stake in the startup.
Commenting on the development, Apoorva Ranjan Sharma, co-founder of Venture Catalyst, said, “We aim to back early-stage companies that have the potential to become billion-dollar companies in the future.”
“I anticipate the number of unicorns in India will grow 4x from 44 today in the next few years, providing several investors with an opportunity to be a supporting agent and ensure multiple X returns from this emerging asset class,” he said.
“We will be closing the rest of the fund soon to boost further the entrepreneur network in India, especially those in the non-metros,” Sharma added.
Kamal Agrawal from Haldiram’s told ET, “we look forward to partnering actively with the 9Unicorns team…and mentoring the innovative digitally run 9unicorns investees.”