Ashwin Damera, founder and CEO at edtech firm Eruditus and Emeritus, has invested Rs 240 crore ($32 million) in Asia’s leading venture debt and specialty finance platform, InnoVen Capital India Fund.
The investment was made through Ashwin’s family office which is co-managed by Ashwin and his wife Bhagyashree Damera.
Eruditus and Emeritus, a leading global edtech platform, is currently valued at $3.2 billion, following its $650 million Series E funding in 2021. It’s backed by marquee investors such as Softbank, Vision Fund 2, Prosus, Accel, Sequoia, Bertelsmann, and the Chan Zuckerberg initiative.
InnoVen Capital provides debt capital to high-growth venture capital-backed startups. Started in 2008 as the first dedicated venture debt provider in India, the platform offers multiple debt capital solutions, including venture debt, acquisition finance, growth loans, working capital, etc.
To date, InnoVen Capital India, has partnered with more than 200 start-ups, including market-leading companies such as Byjus, Swiggy, Eruditus, DailyHunt, Elasticrun, Oyo Rooms, PharmEasy, boAt, Moglix, CureFit, Dealshare, Cars24, Udaan, Shiprocket, Infra.Market, Firstcry, Mensa Brands, Licious, Spinny, Blackbuck, Zetwerk, Ofbusiness, Snapdeal, Rebel Foods, Slice, Myntra, Blinkit, and many more.
“I am delighted to invest in Innoven’s maiden venture debt fund. This investment is from my family office and will give us exposure to venture debt, which is a unique asset class. I have known Innoven for many years and have a strong appreciation for the strong franchise/portfolio they have built. As an entrepreneur, this investment also aligns with my goal of investing back into the venture ecosystem as the capital will eventually support many promising start-ups, as they scale up,” said Damera.
“We are excited to welcome Ashwin as a major investor in our fund. While we are raising capital from several classes of investors, it’s always special to have successful founders invest with us, as they bring value beyond capital. Over the last few years, the ecosystem has seen several founders generate some liquidity and many have allocated capital to venture debt, as part of their asset allocation,” said Ashish Sharma, managing partner, InnoVen Capital India Fund.
“We launched the India fund late last year and have already built a strong portfolio of 25 companies, including 7 unicorns. We expect to do our final close sometime next quarter,” he added.