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Unicorn in cash chase

( 19:00, 29-Feb-16)

Unicorn India Ventures is looking to raise60 crore from investors in the eastern region for its seed-stage fund for investments in start-ups.

The total fund size is pegged at100 crore and the final close is expected by June. The venture capital company has already raised40 crore from high net-worth individuals (HNIs), large industrial houses such as Simplex Industries and Indian technology entrepreneurs. Of this,12 crore was raised from various Bengal-based entrepreneurs.

"Calcutta has a number of HNIs and so it was natural for us to turn east and raise capital from here," said Bhaskar Majumdar, managing partner of Unicorn India Ventures. The company has invested in four start-ups - Roder, an online inter-city cab service provider, Vanitycube, an on-demand beauty service provider, Inc42, a start-up-focused news portal, and Pharmarack, a software providing billing solutions to pharmacies. "We are looking to invest in technology-based and financial technology-based start-ups," Majumdar said.

On angel investment in Bengal, he said, "We want to work closely with the government here to help increase the number of angel investors by educating people to look at start-ups as an asset. We have initiated talks with the Bengal Chamber of Commerce seeking their guidance." Angel investors are individuals who invest their money in a start-up. Unicorn will invest100 crore over three years in about 30 national start-ups.

"The minimum investment in each start-up will be50 lakh," said Manoj Laddha, managing director of JR Laddha Financial Services, which has partnered Unicorn to build this fund.

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