Sashi Parvatha Reddi, a veteran entrepreneur and angel investor, has announced the launch of his first technology-focused early-stage venture capital fund – SRI Capital Fund-I, which can indeed be called as a rare instance where an entrepreneur has launched a fund.
Born in Madras (now Chennai), Reddi is a serial entrepreneur, venture capitalist as well as a philanthropist. He was the CEO and founder of AppLabs, a software testing company based out of Philadelphia, US, which was acquired by Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) in September 2011. Prior to this, he also founded EZPower Systems, a web content management company, in 1994, which was too acquired in 1998 by DocuCorp, now a part of Oracle.
The newly launched SRI Capital Fund-I is a $100-million (~ Rs 688 crore) investment vehicle which will look to invest in enterprise software ventures, with a particular focus on startups working in the emerging areas of deep tech. The fund has just completed its first close at $40 million, and expects to have have its full corpus by the end of the first quarter of 2019, reported Economic Times.
The fund will invest at a pre-Series A stage with ticket size of $1-3 million, and going up to $5 million in select ventures.
“We focus on deep tech because if there is one sector that absolutely needs US market access, it is this,” Reddi told a business daily adding that, “Given our extensive network and relationships with CTOs and CEOs of large companies in the US, we can provide an immediate opportunity for startups to prove out their tech with buyers and partners quickly.”
Notably, Reddi, who is an IIT-Delhi alumnus, has been an active investor in the Indian startup ecosystem, having backed an estimated 30 ventures, primarily in the enterprise technology space till date including e-commerce site Shopo, edtech venture Edutor and Gibss, a green energy startup.
The fund is launched at a time when angel and seed funding for startups at the idea and product-market-fit stage has seen a steep fall, dropping 45% to 112 deals in the March quarter due to the fact that fewer startups are formed in 2017-18.
The early stage startup funding saw worst days in four years, as in H1 2018, the deals in seed and angel investments reportedly continue to struggle with only $137.8 million invested in startups this year, against over $200 million in the first half (H1) of 2017.
Besides this, in March, an another known entrepreneur, Uber ousted Travis Kalanick announced his second inning with his new investment fund 10100, pronounced as “ten-one-hundred. The new fund will be for his personal investments in startups, for-profit and not-for-profit work.