Mela Ventures is a Sebi approved Category-2 AIF fund for early stage companies. It plans to make 4-5 investments in 18 months, with an investment of Rs 7-10 crore each. The purpose is to build global B2B SaaS companies out of India that are solving real-world challenges.
- Anchor investors include professionals with deep expertise in technology
- First close of INR 130 Crores; with a target fund size of INR 200 Crores (including green shoe of INR 75 crores).
- Targets to make 4-5 investments in the next 18 months with ticket size of INR 7-10 crores each.
- A record closure within 12 weeks of SEBI approval
They quit Wipro over two decades ago to start IT services firm Mindtree. Now, a year after leaving Mindtree, IT industry veterans Krishnakumar Natarajan and NS Parthasarathy have teamed up to float an early-stage fund called Mela Ventures.
The fund aims to raise money only from Indian investors and has already closed Rs 130 crore out of its target corpus of Rs 200 crore. Natarajan and Parthasarathy shared their vision behind the fund in an interview with ET NOW.
“When we exited Mindtree, there was an option of starting a new brownfield venture but both of us have been engaged with the startup ecosystem for a long time. I started the Emerge forum at Nasscom. This engagement gave us the insight that while there is a lot of buzz there is still a lot of untapped potential. The percent of startups that get institutional funding is just four percent. Most of those who didn’t get it were committing 4-5 common errors. We felt our expertise would help them not commit those mistakes. A lot of the funding in the ecosystem is more foreign capital. There is a need to create an Indian capital ecosystem for early stage funding, so this is a 100% Indian venture capital fund, with domestic investors,” Natarajan said.
When asked about the sectors the fund would focus on, Parthasarathy said, “We are looking at startups that use deep tech to solve an enterprise problem that can be globally scalable.”
He added that the fund is talking to at least two startups a week and is in the process of closing its first deal.
Mela Ventures is a Sebi approved Category-2 AIF fund for early stage companies. It plans to make 4-5 investments in 18 months, with an investment of Rs 7-10 crore each. Both managing partners intend to play an active role so proximity of the startup will be key. The fund is initially looking at startups in Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad and Pune.