9Unicorns, the accelerator fund of Venture Catalysts, announced the close of its first fund at Rs 100 crore (or $14 million) on Tuesday. The fund will invest in over 100 early-stage startups, with the aim of writing the first external cheque for companies.
9Unicorns is targeting a total corpus of Rs 300 crore ($42 million), with the rest of corpus to be targeted from multiple sources including corporations, family offices, and institutions from across the ten countries and beyond that have already participated in the first close.
It intends to offer $100,000 for five to seven percent equity per startup. After three months of acceleration programme, performing startups will be eligible for a follow-on round of $50,000 to $2 million. The fund is sector agnostic and geared towards Indian startups.
9Unicorns was founded by the founding team at Venture Catalysts — Apoorva Rajan Sharma, Anuj Golecha, Anil Jain, and Gaurav Jain.
Apoorva Rajan Sharma, also an angel investor in OYO Rooms, said in a statement:
“There is no better time to bet on Indian entrepreneurs than today. We are witnessing a surge of startups who are focussed on solving Indian and global problems born out of various parts of India. I anticipate the number of unicorns in India will grow 4x, from 36 today to over 140 in the near future.”
Built along the lines of Y-Combinator’s strategy, 9Unicorns provides acceleration and seed funding to early-stage startups. It provides funding of up to $100,000 per startup in the first round, and $500,000 to $2 million in the successive rounds, with co-investors. Additionally, each portfolio company receives acceleration support for three months, and post-investment support for 18 months. The portfolio startups receive access to a wide network of founders, CXOs or large corporations, seasoned angel investors and partners of global VC funds.
It already has more than 75 Indian startups in its portfolio including BharatPe, Beardo, PeeSafe, and Fynd, among others.
Abhijeet Pai, who is an incoming Partner at the Fund, said, “Ideas is a commodity, execution is a pedigree! Supercharged and exited to be a part of an early-stage engine in Aatmanirbhar Bharat. The post pandemic world now looks at India and Indian entrepreneurs with a different light and at 9Unicorns one hopes to back founders with a zeal to enable, change, empower, and build ecosystems.”