Early stage deep-tech and intellectual property (IP) focussed venture firm Bharat Innovation Fund (BIF) which is affiliated with the Centre for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE) at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad has made the first close of its $100 million fund today.
The early stage deep tech fund has achieved the first close of the fund at approximately $50 million having secured commitments from institutional investors including corporates, banks, insurers, and fund of funds.
Some of the early investors in the fund include SIDBI which has invested in BIF through its Fund of Funds for Startups (FFS) program along with ICICI Lombard, Philips, Bajaj Electricals, RBL Bank amongst others.
“Indian entrepreneurs are producing globally-competitive IP-driven innovations across themes like healthcare/biotech, agriculture, energy, and enterprise-tech - enabled by cutting-edge research and trends like AI, ML, IoT, India Stack, among others. Bharat Innovation Fund will catalyse these transformational deep-tech startups by providing them capital, access to market, strategic inputs and partnership connects,” said Kunal Upadhyay, Managing Partner of Bharat Innovation Fund.
The fund which will look to invest in technology focussed startups at the pre-series A and Series A stages will also enable access to global networks, strategic insights, distribution channels, research infrastructure and deep sectoral understanding. Some of the sectors in focus for the fund will include fintech, agriculture and renewable energy amongst others.
The BIF team includes Upadhyay and Shyam Menon, co-founders of Infuse Ventures, Ashwin Raguraman, formerly COO of India Innovation Fund, Sanjay Jain, formerly Product Manager at Google and Chief Product Manager at UIDAI and Som Pal Choudhury, formerly Managing Director of Analog Devices, India. Through its unique investors and team, Bharat Innovation Fund hopes to significantly de-risk the process of conversion of early-stage startups into competitive companies of consequence.
Bharat Innovation Fund is built on a decade long startup engagement experience of CIIE, which has seeded over 200 startups across its various programs.