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iSeed funding

Micro Venture Capital Fund iSeed, founded by Utsav Somani, CEO of the angel investor collective AngelList India, has announced that it has raised $15 million in the second fund from global funds such as RTP Global, KAMCO Jedi Fund, CM Ventures, FJ Labs, and Tribe Capital. The fund intends to back over 50 talented Indian teams and help them access Silicon Valley.

“Like iSeed I, the LPs (limited partners) in iSeed II were carefully selected based on their knowledge and willingness to help portfolio founders scale,” Somani said.

New LPs include Prasanna Sankar (Rippling), Lachy Groom (Stripe), and Ankur Nagpal (Teachable).

iSeed is the biggest solo GP micro fund in the country and has invested in 36 Indian founding teams in the last year. Somani manages the fund on nights and weekends alongside his position as AngelList India’s CEO.

The fund is co-invested with leading funds like Sequoia Capital India, Founders Fund, and Lightspeed India Partners in companies including PagarBook, Pepper, FloBiz, Velocity, Dive, BimaPe, qoohoo, and Zoko.

iSeed was created to deliver help in the form of consultation and operational expertise at the earliest stages. Besides frequent interactions between the limited partners of the fund and founders, the Knowledge Council was designed to bring world-class operators to come to speak with the portfolio in a private setting.

Commenting on the development, Somani said, “The fund brings trust in the form of capital and time from co-founders and early/senior executives of top companies such as Stripe, AngelList, Thumbtack, HotelTonight, Freshworks, TaskUs, Xiaomi, Uber, Facebook, Google, among others.”

iSeed’s LPs include Naval Ravikant (AngelList), Josh Hannah (Betfair), Nitesh Banta (B12), Bryce Maddock (TaskUs), Jonathan Swanson (Thumbtack), Jack Herrick (wikiHow), Sam Shank (HotelTonight), Vinny Pujji (Left Lane Capital), Kiran Darisi (Freshworks), partners of Matrix Partners China, US & India and institutions such as RTP Global, Tribe Capital, FJ Labs, Hummingbird, and Kamco Jedi Fund.

Early and seed-stage investing has been at an all-time high for Indian startups due to increased deal activity on the back of the Covid-19 led digitalization push by businesses. Most of the bigger venture funds like Sequoia Capital, Accel, Lightspeed Venture Partners, have been doubling down on investments in seed-stage startups to catch them at the idea stage even as valuations have been rising due to increased competition among funds.

The Indian startup ecosystem is robust and is witnessing several amazing talents. This is great news for startups who are still in their early stages.

Shishir Gupta, Founder and CEO, StartupLanes

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