Prime Venture Partners, today announced its fourth fund of US$100 million, with a first close of $75 million (INR 556 crore). Prime had raised its last fund of $72M in 2018, a second fund of $46M in 2015 and a $8M first fund in 2012. It will continue to focus on being the first institutional investor, maintaining its high-conviction and deep-support investing model in early-stage technology startups. In addition to existing focus areas of Fintech, EdTech, HealthTech, Consumer Internet and Global SaaS, the firm expects to expand into new areas, notably Decentralised Finance (DeFi)/Crypto, Electric Vehicle and Gaming infrastructure platforms. Prime also announced that it is actively looking to expand its leadership team by adding a fourth partner.
Amidst the pandemic, the entire fund raise was done virtually and reflects the continued interest and support that Prime is drawing from institutional investors globally. Fund Four investors include the International Finance Corporation (IFC), part of the World Bank Group, a top-tier university endowment, several returning family offices and institutions, and numerous global technology entrepreneurs, reflecting the team’s strong network of relationships across the industry in both the US and South East Asia.
Founded in 2012 by Shripati Acharya and Sanjay Swamy, Prime added Amit Somani as a partner in 2015. With a view of bringing Silicon Valley style professionalism to venture investing, Prime’s mission is to partner early with entrepreneurs and help build world-class technology companies that are addressing some of India’s most important problems. Prime is typically the first institutional investor and focuses on companies with an innovative approach to solving fundamental problems through technology. The firm follows a model of being highly selective and invests in only 5-6 companies a year, after building deep conviction in entrepreneurs and their startups through a rapid yet thorough diligence process. A common theme among Prime portfolio companies is strong product and technology teams with unique insights and an ability to iterate rapidly. Portfolio companies work closely with all partners during the formative phase of the business, collaborating through the Product-Market Fit phase and establish early growth. The firm actively supports entrepreneurs with business and product strategy, refining operating metrics, hiring, partnerships, marketing, finance, all the way through raising subsequent capital.
Prime has a strong track record of investing in early-stage startups in India. As per the Cambridge Associates benchmarks, all of Prime’s funds are in the top decile of all global VC funds of their respective vintages. Funds I to III are committed across 32 companies spanning sectors such as fintech, healthcare, SaaS, education and logistics. Most of these companies have gone on to raise strong follow-on rounds of investment from other leading institutional investors in India, Silicon Valley and Asia. While most of Prime’s portfolio companies are focussed on the booming Digital India opportunity, Prime also has several companies that target the US, Middle East and other International markets, or that initially start in India and expand from India to other geographies.
Some of the notable Prime portfolio companies include the interactive learning startup Quizziz which is used by teachers in 120 countries and is backed by marquee investors such as Tiger Global, Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang and others. MyGate provides security software solutions for apartments that are being used across 20,000 societies and in 3.5 million households. Digital Health startup MFine is backed by SBI Holdings (Japan) & Heritas & clocks 12,000 daily consultations with more than 600 hospitals as partners. Remote Patient Monitoring startup Dozee which is transforming the Indian public healthcare infrastructure, India’s leading universal neobank NiYO, Pay-after placement management program Sunstone Eduversity are some of the other category-creating, high-growth startups in the Prime portfolio.