Eyeing a return to pre-Covid investment levels, mid-stage venture capital firm Bertelsmann India Investments (BII) is targeting to make bets on two to four startups in the next 12 months with an average ticket size of $10 million.
“We will also do another 3-5 follow-on investments in our current portfolio next year,” said Pankaj Makkar, managing director, BII. While the VC fund did not make any new investments this year, it made 7-8 follow-on investments in its current pool of portfolio companies such as Shiprocket, Licious, and Lendingkart.
The strategic investment arm of the German multinational conglomerate, Bertelsmann, focuses on Series B and Series C stage investments.
“Of 11 of our portfolio companies in India, about 6-7 could become Unicorns in a couple of years. We are waiting for some of these success stories to emerge after which would start exiting some of them in the next 3-5 years,” said Makkar. BII had earlier exited music streaming service Saavn and short video platform Roposo.
One of its portfolio companies Eruditus, which has been backed by the Chan Zuckerberg fund, has a current valuation of $800 million and could join the Unicorn club by next year. “Licious should become a Unicorn in the next 18 months as well,” said Makkar.
Unlike early-stage VCs which invest in several companies, BII has reserved its bets for a few startups. “The risk of companies changes dramatically from series A to B and the way we evaluate them is different from how early-stage funds do,” Makkar said.
The company has also added a new filter while making investment decisions from now on. It will see if Covid-19 has affected a sector in a negative or positive way and take that into account before taking the final call. According to Makkar, edtech and healthtech will continue to grow in the next year too.