first check: Startup venture capital firm First Check closes second fund at Rs 38 crore

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Startup venture capital firm First Check has closed its second fund at Rs 38 crore, it announced on Tuesday.

The venture capital firm plans to invest in around 50 startups over the next 18 months.

The company has backed software development startup Kaching, e-commerce startup Mall91, and edtech platform Seekho, among others.

The fund operated as an Angellist syndicate through which it invested in around 100 startups over the past three years

Founded in 2008 as an entity under the India Quotient Venture Capital umbrella, First Check is a pre-seed venture capital firm based in Bengaluru with its limited partners largely comprising of global family offices in India and in Singapore.

“We seek to support ambitious founders with less emphasis on conventional prerequisites such as educational pedigree, prior founding experience and conviction of other VCs,” said Prateek Agarwal, chief investment officer at First Check. .

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The fund house follows a standard process of investing $100,000 at a $2 million valuation for any early-stage and pre-seed startup. The closure of its second fund brings the company’s total assets under management (AUM) to Rs 90 crore.

Of the total investment of Rs 38 crore the company has committed, about 25% will go to startups.

“Deployments are happening at a faster pace. We have already closed investments in three companies and another four to five are in the final stages of closing…we are writing checks for companies that have been blocked in the last 2-3 months,” Agarwal told ET.

The company aims to have around 12-14 companies in its portfolio by the end of this month.

The firm has an independent sector approach and is open to supporting founding teams at the paper plan stage.

“As a pre-seed investor, the only intention we have is to invest in new sectors that are sprouting. We look forward to investments in space technologies, clean technologies and climate technologies. We want to be early entrants in these sectors,” Agarwal said.

It will also welcome startups from sectors such as Software-as-a-Service, edtech, HR-tech and fintech.

“We have all seen the massive success that Y Combinator has had globally. After the US and China, India has the largest startup ecosystem and First Check is uniquely positioned to seize the opportunity pre-seed here,” said Anand Lunia, founding partner, India Quotient.

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