Elev8 Venture Partners Launches $200m Sector-Agnostic Growth Fund

The venture capital firm Elev8 Venture Partners has declared the imminent launch of a $200 million sector-agnostic fund targeted at the Indian market. The first fund will invest in technology-driven growth enterprises with a ticket size of $5-15 million. Elev8 will contribute to rapidly expanding technology businesses’ Series B and C rounds. The Fund has a green-shoe option and is classified as an AIF Cat II by SEBI.

Navin Honagudi, a seasoned fund manager with over 15 years of experience in early and growth stage technology investments, will serve as the Fund’s leader and co-founder.

Investing in over 50 businesses across sectors including Consumer Internet, Enterprise, Fintech, Education, and HealthTech, Navin was a Partner at Kae Capital for nearly a decade before launching Elev8. Navin began his career with Reliance’s Corporate Venture and was involved in some of India’s earliest internet ventures. He has since experienced multiple investments and exit cycles.

Elev8 has institutional backing from Venture Catalysts, India’s most prominent Early-stage platform. With the addition of Elev8 as the fourth fund backed by the firm, the Venture Catalysts group’s total AUM is set to surpass $450mn.

The Mumbai-based organization, which was established in 2016, consists of the 9Unicorns accelerator fund, the Beams Fintech fund, a 5,000-plus-member angel network, and a portfolio of 300-plus separate companies. It was founded by Dr. Apoorva Ranjan Sharma, Anil Jain, CA Anuj Golecha, and Gaurav Jain. It’s one of the top 10 early-stage investors in the world.

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LPs have clear visibility into Elev8’s capital deployment strategy thanks to the firm’s own data-driven algorithms and the fact that the firm has access to high-quality transactions at the growth stage. Among the notable startups that Elev8 has previously invested in are Bharatpe, Kenko, BluSmart, Beardo, Niyo, Goat, Airmeet, Toch, and Zypp; India’s leading fintech company Paytm; an intracity logistic marketplace called Shiprocket; an ed-tech platform called Vedantu; an agri-tech platform called Reshamandi; and others.

Elev8 plans to work with India’s top seed funds, which will allow the startup accelerator to make up for the over $500 million in pro rata capital it will not be able to invest in its successful portfolio firms in 2021. This will be the first Pro-Rata fund in India, and while they have been quite successful in the United States and Europe, this will be the first one in India.

Even if the market for technology investments is drying up, Elev8 has seen a surge of interest from limited partners (LPs) and collaboration opportunities with seed funds because the current vintage provides a great chance to invest in development-stage firms and earn/target strong returns. “We are in advanced conversations to build various worldwide alliances that will go ahead and assist our portfolio firms in expanding beyond India during their growth phase,” said Elev8 partner Navin Honagudi.

In a market where domestic growth stage VC funds lacking the necessary experience are scarce, we are excited by Elev8’s strategy. CA Anuj Golecha, the partner at Elev8 and co-founder of Venture Catalyst, explains that the firm significantly lowers its risk by entering the growth stage, where companies have proven product-market fit, resilience during downturns, and the presence of strong founders able to steer the company in the right direction regardless of market conditions.

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