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Arkam Ventures holds final close for early-stage fund after being delayed by COVID-19 – report

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Indian venture capital firm Arkam Ventures has closed a $106m early-stage fund, The Economic Times reported.

The final close came almost two years after the firm said it had hit the first close on $30m. Co-founder Rahul Chandra said COVID-19 had caused delay in the closing of the fund, especially in 2020, according to the report.

40% of the fund’s committed capital is rupee-denominated, while international institutional investors including UK’s development finance institution, British International Investment Plc, Nippon India Digital Innovation, Dubai-based Evolvence group, Small Industries Development Bank of India have backed the fund.

InfoEdge founder Sanjeev Bikhchandani, Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal and Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma also committed to the fund.

Arkam’s portfolio consists of 12 companies including Zerodha-backed investment platform Smallcase, savings app Jar, B2B marketplace Jumbotail, agri-finance startup Jai Kisan, lending company KrazyBee, and crypto investment platform Mudrex.

It will make six additional investments in the $3m range and focus on pre-series A to series B deals.

Chandra said, “We will continue to back startups in mobility, fintech, edtech/skilling, health and agriculture across B2B and B2C.These have to cater to middle India.”

Arkam Ventures was rebranded from Indian venture capital house Unitary Helion in 2020 amid sealing the first close of its INR7bn ($93m) targeting debut fundraise.

It focuses on backing Indian startups using tech to address the needs of the next 400 million consumer in the country, and the 40 million businesses that serve them.

It says that those consumers just below the top of the pyramid are likely to drive the bulk of demand, income, and consumption growth over the next decade.

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