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9Unicorns closes third accelerator fund at $40M

9Unicorns has closed its third accelerator fund at $40 million to fund idea-stage startups in the country. The third close saw participation from global and Indian industrialists and businesses who are favoring the high growth potential of early-stage startups in India. Some of the key LPs include Haldiram’s, Indian Bank, and Ahmedabad-based Chona Family Office, among other notable ones. 

The Venture Catalysts-backed accelerator’s cumulative fund size is $70 million and intends to mark the final close this year. 9Unicorns intends to write the first external cheque to nearly 150 early-stage startups in Fintech, Insuretech, B2B SaaS, Media, Deeptech, Edutech, FMCG, Healthtech, Travel logistics, among other sectors over the next year. 

Commenting on the investment, Apoorva Ranjan Sharma, Managing Director and Founder of 9Unicorns, said, “As a fund, we aim to back early-stage companies that have the potential to become billion-dollar companies in the future. We have made our third close much before our set target and are looking to make the final close soon to propel an already thriving startup economy. Our agility and speed at which we raise and deploy our funds differentiate us from others.” 

In addition to the third close, the company has also started a program called ‘Catalysts Program,’ the initiative is intended to create an open community of founders, CXOs, and the ecosystem drivers to acknowledge, fund, and guide early-stage startups. The idea is to identify and shortlist curated startups to 9Unicorns for investment and co-investment, mentor the existing portfolio startups for three to five months, and introducing institutional investors for next-round financing in 9Unicorns deals. 

Built on Y Combinator lines, the sector-agnostic fund has already committed investments in around 40 startups within seven months of its first close. 9Unicorns’ portfolio includes fertility care provider Janani, interactive video shopping platform Toch.ai, audio production automation firm Deepsync, revenue-based financing firm Klub, marketing automation firm ExtraaEdge, D2C lifestyle footwear brand Monrow, and edutech Qin1. 

As an accelerator fund, 9Unicorns invests about $150,000 for 5-7 percent equity per startup at the idea stage. As of December 2020, it has syndicated over Rs 240Crs with co-investors such as Titan Capital, Sequoia Surge, SOSV, Lightspeed, Matrix Partners, and Nexus Ventures amongst others. The syndication also includes likes of Anand Chadrashekharan (Facebook), Pankaj Chaddah (Zomato), Amrish Rau (Citrus Pay), Harsh Shah (Fynd), Manindar Gulati (OYO), Ritesh Agarwal (OYO), Vikalp Sahni (Goibibo), Ramakant Sharma (LivSpace), and Sanjiv Bajaj (Bajaj Capital) amongst hundred others. 

9Unicorns is supported by several prominent global VCs and LPs from across ten countries, family offices of large organizations such as Parakh Foods, The OPG Group, Qualcomm International, The MBG Group, UB Cotton, along-with top executives from Linkedin, AB InBev, SAP, Quest Global, Fujitsu besides several Unicorn & Decacorn founders.

The announcement comes with a huge opportunity for startups who are in the idea stage to get recognized and grow their business.

Shishir Gupta, Founder and CEO, StartupLanes

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