Varanium Capital Advisors Achieves First Close of Rs 250 Crore Maiden Venture Debt Fund, Aiding Startups' Growth

Mumbai, India – Varanium Capital Advisors, a prominent asset management firm headquartered in Mumbai, has successfully achieved the first close of its debut venture debt fund, raising an impressive Rs 250 crore. With an additional green-shoe option of Rs 50 crore, the company aims to utilize the fund to support nearly 100 promising startups in India through a combination of revenue-based financing and traditional venture debt.

Varanium Capital Advisors, managing assets worth $1 billion across various classes, including structured debt and portfolio management services, is no stranger to investing in the startup ecosystem. The firm also operates the Varanium NexGen Fund, a Category-I alternative investment fund that focuses on early-stage fintech startups. Thus far, it has provided backing to 12 startups, including notable names such as Easebuzz, Riskcovry, Finvu, and Homeville, through its equity fund.

Founder of Varanium Capital, T S Anantakrishnan, expressed his enthusiasm for the venture debt fund, highlighting its significance for startups in sectors such as D2C, SaaS, B2B commerce, and fintech, which require capital injections to scale their operations. “With a corpus size of Rs 250 crore, the fund is well-positioned to provide timely capital injections, enabling startups to seize growth opportunities and expand their market reach,” Anantakrishnan stated.

To ensure the efficient management of the venture debt fund, Nawal Bachhuka, formerly the risk head for SME and SEG (west) at Aditya Birla Finance Limited, has been appointed as its manager. The fund also boasts a distinguished team of industry veterans, including former IndusInd Bank CEO Ramesh Sobti, former Chief Risk Officer K S Sridhar, former head of corporate lending Suhail Chander, and former Chief Operating Officer Paul Abraham, who will contribute their expertise in key leadership roles.

The investment committee responsible for overseeing the venture debt fund comprises Anantakrishnan, Aparajit Bhandarkar, Suhail Chander, and Sridhar. The fund has garnered significant interest from both domestic and global limited partners, securing an anchor investor and attracting commitments from high net-worth individuals (HNIs), seasoned entrepreneurs, as well as former CEOs and CXOs of banks.

As venture debt investments continue to gain traction in the current funding landscape, several venture debt firms have announced new funds over the past year. Companies such as Stride Ventures and Alteria Capital have joined the fray, reflecting the growing demand for alternative funding options among startups. Additionally, Singapore-headquartered Lighthouse Canton achieved the first close of its maiden Indian venture debt fund, amounting to Rs 550 crore, earlier this year.

Varanium Capital Advisors’ foray into the venture debt space signifies their commitment to supporting the growth and development of startups in India. With a strong track record and a substantial corpus, the firm is poised to make a meaningful impact in the startup ecosystem by providing timely financial assistance to emerging companies, bolstering their operations, and facilitating market expansion.

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