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Axilor Ventures announces $100M early stage fund

Axilor Ventures has announced the launch of its second fund with a corpus of $100 million (Rs 770 crore). The Category-I Axilor Technology Fund II (ATF-II) will continue to back early stage startups across enterprise SaaS (Software-as-a-Service), Business-to-Business (B2B) commerce, agritech, consumer tech, fintech, and healthtech.

The fund, which has registered with the SEBI, will continue to be backed by its founders Kris Gopalakrishnan, SD Shibulal, Professor Tarun Khanna, Srinath Batni, and Ganapathy Venugopal.

With cheque sizes averaging $500,000 to $750,000, ATF-II has also set aside 30 percent of its corpus to back 10-12 winners from its first fund, Ganapathy Venugopal told YourStory.

“We have been deliberate in setting aside a separate corpus for being able to do bridge rounds, because early-stage funding is highly uncertain. Sometimes, companies are unable to raise funding due to the timing and the market sentiment. The median first cheque is likely to be in the $500,000-750,000 range, but we are setting aside a separate corpus when the company is doing well and fundraising is getting delayed,” said Ganapathy Venugopal, Co-founder and CEO of Axilor Ventures.

He added that ATF-II has been set up as a 15 year fund to ensure higher follow-on ratio as well as the flexibility to recycle capital.

“Our exit horizon will be between eight to ten years, so that it does not put pressure on the founders. We are looking at a three year deployment cycle with 30 companies in each cycle,” he said. The fund will continue to lead or co-lead investments rather than being a passive investor.

Axilor’s trajectory

Axilor Ventures, which started out as a technology incubator programme in 2014, moved to early-stage investing in 2018 with the launch of its Rs 200 crore first fund, ATF-I.

“In 2014, there was hardly any market network that made it easy for startup founders to access talent, investors, go-to-market partners, or service providers. The idea of starting Axilor was to solve these problems,” said Ganapathy Venugopal.

“We ran the largest cohort as part of the accelerator programme in the country and it was ranked number one programme for two years in a row. As things progressed, we saw two things–founder quality had improved and we also got the feedback from our founders saying that their outcome could be even better with access to capital.”

With these inputs, ATF-I was launched to target pre-seed stage companies, and has backed 54 companies to date. Of these, Axilor Ventures claims a follow-on funding rate of 77 percent for its portfolio companies from the first fund. The fund has also registered five partial exits from its portfolio driven by founder’s request, he added.

Axilor Ventures is by all accounts an inspiring startup with spurring development on venture capital and private equity principals platform. I’m certain this startup would keep on flourishing in its excursion ahead. All the best to the whole group of Axilor Ventures. This will give them a colossal achievement in the future.

Shishir Gupta, Founder and CEO, StartupLanes

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