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Inventus Capital raises $106M fund for service-led startups (not just products)

Inventus managing partner Kanwal Rekhi

Above: Inventus managing partner Kanwal Rekhi

Inventus Capital Partners has raised a $106 million venture fund to invest in “digital services” rather than products.

Aside from its focus on service businesses, Inventus stands out as its partners are extremely well connected in India. They believe that entrepreneurs will benefit from forming closer alliances with key decision-makers and executives in the region.

“My partners and I formed Inventus to continue our two decades of success partnering with Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and helping them access India’s natural advantages adding value to digital services businesses,” said founder and managing director John Dougery in a statement.

The partners have already begun funding service-led startups with money from its second fund, which include Unbxd, Espresso Logic, PolicyBazaar, and eDreams.

Inventus’ recent successes in service-led businesses include RedBus, which Naspers acquired for $138 million, and offshore developer firm Sierra Atlantic, which Hitachi Consulting scooped up. Industry Insiders perceived the acquisition of online bus-ticketing startup RedBus as a major success story for India’s startup ecosystem.

The firm’s partners claim they have finance and mentored over 120 young companies over several decades. This is similar to most Silicon Valley venture firms, which claim to provide hands-on guidance to entrepreneurs.

“They [the partners] are with you from the beginning and help you through the ups and downs of building a business and anticipating curve balls,” said Manish Chandra, the chief executive of fashion app Poshmark, in an email. This is the second time Chandra has raise funds from Inventus.

The firm typically leads a startups’s first institutional round. With this fund, it expects to fund up to 25 startups. The partners will invest up to $10 million as a company grows.

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