pi Ventures Bags INR 22 Cr For Second Fund, To Invest In Early-Stage Deeptech Startups

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Venture capital firm pi Ventures has secured INR 22 crore ($2.6 million) from Colruyt Group India, the Indian IT arm of Belgian retail company Colruyt Group, for its second fund. The firm expects to raise between INR 675 crore ($90 million) and INR 750 crore ($100 million) for the fund, which will invest in early-stage deeptech start-ups working in sectors such as biotech, blockchain and space technology. pi Ventures will also use the partnership to explore opportunities for its portfolio companies in Europe. Colruyt Group India said it was excited to partner with pi Ventures and contribute to the digital evolution.

In addition to the recent investment from Colruyt Group India, pi Ventures had already raised INR 303.5 crore ($40 million) for its second fund in January 2022, and received $8 million from British International Investment in November 2022. The fund’s backers include Nippon India Digital Innovation fund, Accel, and angel investors such as Binny Bansal and Hemendra Kothari. The fund has already invested in seven deeptech startups, including Ottonomy and ImmunitoAI, and plans to invest in 20-25 startups over the next two to three years.

Founded in 2016, pi Ventures focuses on investing in early-stage deeptech startups, particularly those working with emerging technologies. Its first fund, closed in 2018 at INR 225 crore ($30 million), backed 15 deeptech startups such as AgniKul, Pixis, and Wysa. Colruyt Group India is an IT arm of Belgian retail company Colruyt Group, developing software solutions ranging from maintaining existing IT systems to building products on emerging technologies. Despite a general decline in funding across most sectors in 2022, deeptech startups raised $1.5 billion, more than double the $451 million raised in 2021. Recently, Optimized Electrotech secured INR 20 crore ($2.7 million) in funding, while Intangles Lab raised $10 million in Series A funding from Baring Private Equity Partners India.