India’s Early-stage venture fund pi Ventures, which invests in artificial intelligence- and internet of things-based (IoT) startups, has announced the final close of its first fund at $31 million, which will invest in deep-tech startups over the next four years.
The Applied Artificial Intelligence-focused fund plans to invest in 18-20 startups in the health-tech, logistics, retail, fintech and enterprise sectors with a significant portion allocated for follow-on rounds.
pi Ventures counts UK’s CDC Group, SIDBI, International Finance Corporation (IFC), Accel Partners, Electronic Development Fund, and entrepreneurs including Mohandas Pai, Binny Bansal, Deep Kalra, Sanjeev Bikchandani and Sunil Kant Munjal as limited partners. The fund is co-sponsored by In Color Capital of Canada. The fund has received 60% of its corpus from institutional investors and majority from Indian limited partners.
“When we started 2.5 years back, AI was a new term. We didn’t have an anchor investor. We converted very small cheques and used that cash to invest in three-four startups and create proof points along the way to show how AI can solve realworld problems,” Singhal said.
“We are thankful for the support from like-minded individuals and partners who believe in our investment thesis of backing innovation and disruption that solves real-world problems through applied AI,” said Manish Singhal, founding partner, pi Ventures, in a statement.
pi Ventures has made six investments so far, including in software as a service (SaaS) startup CustomerSuccessBox, logistics company Locus, health-tech firm SigTuple and NIRMAI, and medical wearable device firm ten3T, among others.
The VC firm was founded in 2016 by Singhal and Umakant Soni.