MUMBAI – Varanium Capital Advisors, an asset management firm based in Mumbai, has successfully completed the first close of its inaugural venture debt fund, securing Rs 250 crore, with an additional Rs 50 crore available through a green-shoe option. The company aims to utilize the fund to support approximately 100 startups in India by employing a combination of revenue-based financing and traditional venture debt. Varanium Capital currently oversees $1 billion in assets across various classes, including structured debt and portfolio management services. The firm also operates Varanium NexGen Fund, a Category-I alternative investment fund focused on early-stage fintech startups. To date, it has already provided backing to 12 startups from its equity fund, including Easebuzz, Riskcovry, Finvu, and Homeville.
T.S. Anantakrishnan, Founder of Varanium Capital, stated, “The venture debt fund will provide financial backing to startups in sectors such as D2C, SaaS, B2B commerce, and fintech, who require capital to scale their operations. With a corpus size of Rs 250 crore, the fund is well-positioned to provide timely capital injections, enabling startups to seize growth opportunities and expand their market reach.”
Nawal Bachhuka, previously the risk head for SME and SEG (west) at Aditya Birla Finance Limited, will manage the venture debt fund. Noteworthy figures from IndusInd Bank’s senior management team, including former CEO Ramesh Sobti, former CRO K.S. Sridhar, former head of corporate lending Suhail Chander, and former COO Paul Abraham, are also involved in the leadership of the venture debt fund. The investment committee comprises Anantakrishnan, Aparajit Bhandarkar, Suhail Chander, and Sridhar.
The venture debt fund has garnered participation from both domestic and global limited partners, securing an anchor investor. High net-worth individuals (HNIs), experienced entrepreneurs, as well as former CEOs and CXOs of banks have also expressed commitments to the fund. Amidst the current funding environment, which has seen a surge in venture debt investments, several venture debt firms, such as Stride Ventures and Alteria Capital, have announced the launch of new funds over the past year. Earlier this year, Singapore-based Lighthouse Canton achieved the initial close of its debut Indian venture debt fund, amounting to Rs 550 crore.
Varanium Group’s successful initial close of its maiden venture debt fund marks a significant milestone in the company’s mission to support and fuel the growth of promising Indian startups. With a strong focus on various sectors and a skilled team of industry professionals, Varanium Capital Advisors is well-positioned to facilitate the expansion and success of these startups in the dynamic Indian market.