PHILADELPHIA & HYDERABAD, India–(BUSINESS WIRE)–SRI Capital (SRI), an early stage venture capital firm focused on funding innovative startups primarily in the US and in India, today announced the launch of its maiden $100M early stage VC fund focused on tech opportunities in the US and India. Anchored by a $20M commitment from the family office of Sashi Reddi, managing partner, SRI, the fund is raising capital primarily from investors in the US and Europe.
“There is a funding gap for Indian start-ups targeting US enterprise customers,” says Reddi. “While Indian VCs have struggled to support these US-focused startups, US VCs typically do not understand India-based tech teams. SRI Capital will fill this gap.”
Additional partners in the fund include Doc Parghi, based in Philadelphia, as well as two advisory partners based in India, to be announced. The team brings a unique mix of operating and investing experience, a long history of working together and partners based in both the US and India. This combination of talent and resources delivers a reach and skillset that are not available with most US and Indian VCs.
The fund will typically invest $1M to $3M in a start-up, with the potential to invest in future rounds to support the growth of the company. It expects to complete six to eight investments annually.
Utilizing this US-India model, SRI has backed over 15 startups over the last five years, with successful investments including: ThinCI, a chip company for autonomous driving that recently raised over $20M from Japanese auto supplier Denso and a clutch of high profile industry veterans; and PhenomPeople, a new age recruitment SaaS offering, leveraging social media and machine learning that recently raised $22M from multiple investors, including Sierra Ventures and AXA Ventures. SRI Capital invested at the seed stage in both companies.
SRI also backs startups founded by entrepreneurs who have studied and/or worked in the US and relocate to India to launch their companies. Some examples of successful investments with this US-India model are: YuppTV, a leading OTT player for Indian content that recently raised $50 M from Emerald Ventures, a media fund backed by KKR; HealthifyMe, a healthy lifestyle startup that raised nearly $20M from IDG Ventures, Samsung NEXT, Sistema Asia Fund, Inventus Capital, Blume and others; and FabHotels. founded by two Wharton MBAs who relocated to India to launch one of India’s leading budget hotel brands, which recently raised $25M from Goldman Sachs. Again, SRI was the first outside investor in all three companies.
Tushar Vashist, founder/CEO of HealthifyMe, says, “One of the first investors I approached when launching HealthifyMe was SRI Capital, given its reputation as being entrepreneur-friendly. They’ve stuck with us through some early difficult periods as we pivoted multiple times to find the right business model.”
To date, the fund has completed three investments including, IndianMoney, LetsMD, and Sports Flashes.