IFC to invest in Stellaris' $100-mn fund

International Finance Corporation (IFC), an investment arm of the World Bank Group, plans to invest around $10 million in Stellaris Venture Partners India-I's new $100-million fund.

The self-managed closed-end fund, based in India, had its first close in January 2017. The expected next close is June 2017.

"IFC's presence as a potential co-investment partner/follow-on investor through IFC's venture capital team will benefit the fund manager and its portfolio companies which need access to additional growth capital," said IFC.

In the current fund, IFC will be supporting 18-20 innovative Indian companies to grow and gain access to international capital markets.

Stellaris invests in early-stage and growth-stage technology firms, supporting and empowering entrepreneurs and innovation. The fund seeks to focus primarily on Series-A and pre-Series A investments in technology and technology-enabled companies in India, and currently has two investments in its portfolio, Whatfix and Wydr. The fund has Stellaris Advisors LLP as an investment advisor.

The maiden fund had capital commitments from financial institutions, companies, entrepreneurs, and family offices in America, Europe and Asia during its first close. In 2016, Infosys Technologies said it had signed an agreement for a Limited Partner investment of Rs 31.6 crore from its innovation fund in Stellaris Venture Partners. This investment is towards the first close of Stellaris' fund. Earlier, the Small Industries Development Bank of India had also invested.

Stellaris was established in March 2016 by Alok Goyal, Ritesh Banglani and Rahul Chowdhri. All three general partners were previously partners at Helion Ventures and had previously led global technology businesses. In the past, they have invested in market leaders such as TaxisForSure, BigBasket, Shopclues, Axtria, Lifecell and Simplilearn.

Stellaris will back entrepreneurs which leverage technology to solve large problems. Their investment focus areas include global software-as-a-service, and applications in segments such as healthcare, education, financial services and retailing.

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