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Stride Ventures launches second debt fund, targets Rs 1,000 cr corpus

Stride Ventures, one of India’s leading venture debt funds, is launching Stride Ventures India Fund II with a targeted corpus of INR 1,000 crore and a greenshoe option to raise an additional INR 875 crore. The firm will continue investing in early to late-stage startups with ticket size from the new fund expected to go up to INR 70 crore.

The new fund will have a commitment period of four years within which the capital will be deployed and recycled. With its ability to recycle capital, Stride will effectively have more than Rs 3,000 crore for funding startups through venture debt and offer multifaceted credit solutions to its portfolio companies.

While the fund is sector agnostic, it will look to invest primarily in sectors such as B2B Commerce & SaaS, Consumer, HealthTech, FinTech, AgriTech, amongst others. Similar to the first fund, the second fund is expected to witness participation from large family offices, sovereign funds, PE funds, insurance firms, and HNIs across India, Singapore and GCC.

Ishpreet Gandhi, Founder and Managing Partner, Stride Ventures, said, “We are extremely proud to have partnered with leading founders, and would continue to support them in every step of the way as we leap the second fund. As founders become increasingly aware of the debt and alternative capital for non-dilutive structures, our deployments have grown considerably as we partner with fundamentally strong companies. Since its inception, we have endeavored to adopt a partner-centric approach and cater to the distinctive credit requirements of new-age businesses in India.

Despite the pandemic, our Fund has served as a good diversification for our investors’ asset allocation, has continued to post strong and consistent returns. We have seen great interest from all our existing investors and are looking at onboarding new investors as well for Fund II. With these considerations in mind, we are looking at the first close of our second Fund within the next three months.”

Fundraiser Campaign

Founded in 2019, Stride Ventures closed its maiden fund earlier this year after overshooting its initial target corpus of INR 350 crores. It has funded more than 20 companies from Stride Ventures India Fund I. Some of the key deals for the maiden fund have been in growth-stage startups including Pocket Aces, Miko, SUGAR Cosmetics, etc, and late-stage startups like Infra.market, Spinny, Home Lane, Zetwerk and Bizongo. With zero delinquencies, the first fund is on track to deliver its target IRR of 18-19%, notwithstanding the economic disruption due to COVID-19.

With innovative structures for portfolio companies, the firm has also been one of the most active ventures debt companies this year, having disbursed over INR 200 crores since January 2021.

Abhinav Suri, Managing Partner, Stride Ventures, further added, “We constantly innovate to provide customized credit structures for our portfolio companies and help them size debt capital around predictable cash flows to minimize risk. We have built a strong risk culture across the firm by an emphasis on in-depth 360-degree analysis of businesses that we invest in, robust internal processes, and disciplined monthly monitoring of the portfolio. This gives us a lot of confidence as we go into a larger Fund II and remain committed to providing class-leading returns to our investors.”

Apoorva Sharma, an ex-investment banker and former Principal at the firm, has been promoted as Partner for the second fund. Apoorva comes from a corporate lending and investment banking background with prior stints at HSBC and the Xander Group amongst others. The firm’s 20 member-strong teams, with a broad range of experience and expertise across Corporate and Investment Banking, Consulting, Investing, etc. Have significantly contributed to the success of the first fund.

“We want to be a preferred lender in the startup ecosystem. We have built a full-stack solution for all financing needs of growth-stage companies and have been able to partner with great companies. We look forward to keeping supporting them in their journey”, said Apoorva Sharma, Partner, Stride Ventures.

Stride Venture’s 3x increase in the size of Fund II reaffirms the long-term potential of India’s venture debt story as strong investor sentiment drives record fundraising in India-focused funds. Having pioneered joint-lending structures with leading banks, the firm continues to build innovative alternate financing solutions within venture debt for founders to allocate capital more efficiently.

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