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LetsVenture’s fund to back YC startups

LetsVenture is setting up a fund to back five to seven Indian startups.

Jun 23, 2019, 10.50 AM IST
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(This story originally appeared in on Jun 23, 2019)
LetsVenture, a marketplace for startups to raise early-stage capital, and US-based Pioneer Fund are joining hands to invest in Indian enterprises nurtured by famed Silicon Valley accelerator programme Y Combinator.

As part of the collaboration, LetsVenture is setting up a fund to back five to seven Indian startups from the summer batch of Y Combinator, or YC as it is popularly known, in the June-August period. The fund, called ‘Future of India’, will be $1million to $1.5 million in size.

Pioneer Fund pools capital from over 170 YC alumni to provide a springboard to startups. LetsVenture, which has 6,500 investors and over 120 family offices on its platform, is a limited partner in Pioneer Fund, where it has invested $5 million. Pioneer’s total fund size is about $30 million.

This will be the first time Pioneer Fund will invest in India. So far, it has not backed any Indian startup selected by YC. But otherwise, it has invested in about 40 YC startups. LetsVenture’s investor base will get an opportunity to put money in Future of India fund.

“They (Pioneer Fund) typically invest in five to seven companies globally. The new partnership will allow them to back a similar number of Indian firms. These investments would be of $1,50,000-$2,00,000 for each of the Indian firms,” said Lets-Venture’s founder and CEO, Shanti Mohan.

Based on the outcome of the India experiment, she added, Pioneer might take the model to other countries.

This comes at a time when Y Combinator has picked a record number of startups — 15 — for its summer batch of 2019. “This (partnership) will allow LetsVenture and Pioneer Fund to provide local investors with access to top Indian startups and provide these firms with access to the support and mentorship of YC alumni,” said Pioneer Fund’s managing partner, Jason Gray.

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