Bengaluru: Stellaris Venture Partners, an early stage venture capital (VC) firm has raised an undisclosed amount of investment from Cisco Investments, the company said. The tech-focused VC fund had raised $50 million for its maiden fund in February 2017.
The Bengaluru-based company invests in technology businesses in sectors like cloud, Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning, enterprise applications and analytics. It focuses on both consumer and business-centric start-ups.
Stellaris was founded in 2016 by former Helion Venture Partners executives Ritesh Banglani, Alok Goyal and Rahul Chowdhri. While raising $50 million last year, around 50 executives including Taxiforsure co-founder Aprameya R., Indify founder Alok Mittal, Helion and Fireside Ventures founder Kanwaljit Singh and Neeraj Agarwal, India operations head of Boston Consulting Group, co-invested in Stellaris. These investors are also limited partners in the fund.
The fund also counts software exporter Infosys Ltd as one of its limited partners. Stellaris had formed a so-called “founder network” in 2017, which plays a key role in the fund’s investment strategy. The network comprises its 50 limited partners, successful Indian entrepreneurs, corporate executives and fund managers.
The firm started investing in 2017, and has already made early stage investments in four start-ups. In its latest investment, Stellaris led a $1.5 million round in Mfine, an on-demand doctor consultation start-up founded by former Myntra executives. It has plans to invest in about 18-20 start-ups with its current fund.
“We are supporting all stages of start-up development, including directly and indirectly funding the most promising new digital companies across India. With a strong leadership team and extensive enterprise technology expertise, we are pleased to add Stellaris Ventures to our growing portfolio of investments in India,” Sameer Garde, president, Cisco India, said in a statement.
The fund-raise comes at a time when early-stage investments from VCs and angel investors have slumped to a three-year low. Mint reported last November that in the first 10 months of 2017, around 482 start-ups raised funding at the seed and angel stage, compared to 894 deals in the same period in 2016.livemint