Accel Partners wants a pi in this Bengaluru venture
BENGALURU: Accel Partners, a leading venture capital fund, has invested in Bengaluru-based pi Ventures’ $30-40 million fund. pi Ventures had recently closed its first $13 million from investors including Flipkart’s Binny Bansal, MakeMyTrip’s Deep Kalra, Info Edge’s Sanjeev Bikhchandani besides prominent angel investor Mohandas Pai.
pi Ventures had also received capital from the Small Industries Development Bank of India (Sidbi) besides family offices from the USA, Canada, Singapore and India.
pi Ventures, which was cofounded by Manish Singhal and Umakant Soni in 2016, will invest in early-stage startups that focus on solving problems in healthcare, logistics, retail, fin-tech and enterprise sectors using artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and internet of things.
“We have been looking at all the ecosystem small funds where they are unique and differentiated. We have been investing small money into those funds.
We have been working together with Manish who we have known for ages. We have been helping him set up the fund,” said Shekhar Kirani, partner at Accel Partners. “This is our third investment into a speciality-driven fund that is focused on building a good entrepreneurial pipeline.”
Accel has also backed Ideaspring Capital, which makes seed investments in product startups and Jungle Ventures, which invests primarily in South-east Asia.
Kirani, however, did not reveal the amount that Accel Partners has invested into pi Ventures.
Additionally, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Bank’s financial arm, has proposed to make an equity investment of $3 million in pi Ventures as well. The investment is through the IFC Startup Catalyst (ISC) programme and is intended to support local innovation and entrepreneurship.
“The (IFC) process is still on. We are very excited about Accel investing in us. We have taken a lot of guidance from them in making this fund. There is a lot of synergy,” said Manish Singhal, founding partner, pi Ventures.
“The colour of investors will change in the final close. We will get support from larger institutional players, primarily fund-of-funds, whose mandate is to invest in funds.We are also looking at corporates (which aim to) invest in funds and large family offices,” Singhal had told ET in an interview earlier.