Unitus Seed Fund, Bangalore and Seattle-based venture seed fund supporting startups innovating for the masses, raised over USD$4m from 16 high net income Indian investors in its Indian rupee fund.
Additionally, Seattle area tech executives including Steve Singh, Diego Piacentini, and Bill Gates have invested in Unitus Seed Fund’s affiliated offshore venture fund.
The firm now has more than $20m to invest across healthcare, education, mobile commerce & value-added services, marketplaces & e-commerce, retail & distribution, agriculture, water and energy sectors.
Unitus Seed Fund, which invests in India through Unitus Seed Fund India, a Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) registered venture capital fund, and Unitus Seed Fund LP an offshore VC fund, has already made 14 investments.
Investors in the offshore India-focused fund include:
Bill Gates (Microsoft, Gates Foundation),
Desh Deshpande (formerly Sycamore Networks),
Romesh Wadhwani (Symphony TG),
Vinod Khosla (Khosla Ventures),
Steve Singh (Cleartrip, Concur)
Soma Somasegar (Microsoft),
Dilip Wagle (McKinsey),
Geeta Aiyer (Boston Common),
Kamesh Aiyer (Aditi),
Pradeep Singh (Aditi),
Bharat Shah (Microsoft),
Anoop Gupta (Microsoft),
Nagesh Pabbisetty (Microsoft),
Prady Misra (Winshuttle),
Vikram Chalana (Winshuttle),
Michael & Susan Dell Foundation,
Crystal Springs Foundation,
Sorenson Impact Foundation, and
New investors in Unitus Seed Fund India include:
Srikanth Iyer (former CEO of Pearson India),
Sharvil Parikh (Phenix Consulting),
Kishore Musale (Astarc Group),
Jacob Ninan (Kottackal Business Solutions),
Aroon Raman (Raman FibreScience).
They joined founding investors including T.V. Mohandas Pai (Formerly Infosys CFO), Dr. Ranjan Pai (CEO of Manipal Education and Medical Group), Hemendra Kothari (DSP Blackrock), Pramod Saxena (CEO of Oxigen), Hema Hattangady (Conzerv/Schneider), Ananda Kallugadde (Neobytes), Rajeev Bakshi (METRO Cash & Carry), and Ravi Venkatesan (Infosys, Microsoft), and other entrepreneurs listed here.
Led by Srikrishna Ramamoorthy, Partner, Unitus Seed Fund is open to receive investments from Indian national investors only, until December 2014.