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Fireside Ventures announces first close of ₹180 crore for its maiden fund with backing from Premji and others

Fireside Ventures, a venture capital firm formed by former Helion Venture Partners senior managing director Kanwaljit Singh, has got backing from India’s top family offices.

It has raised funding from Wipro promoter Azim Premji’s PremjiInvest, Consumer Goods maker Marico’s Mariwalas and RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group for its maiden fund.

The firm has already raised ₹180 crore to back early-stage startups in the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector. The fund aims to raise a total ₹300 crore within six months.

Other key investors in the fund include Kolkata-based consumer goods company Emami and WestBridge Capital, one of the largest homegrown investment firms with more than $2 billion in assets under management. Avendus Wealth Management is also advising Fireside for the fundraise.

Fireside Ventures plans to build a portfolio of about 30 companies, in which it plans to invest about ₹1 crore to begin with. It will increase the total investment in each startup to about ₹15 crore depending on their growth.

Singh says that startups in FMCG space do not have a lot of funding options at an early stage, but can be built in a capital-efficient manner. He sees an inflection of three factors for consumer goods startups — fast-growing market opportunity; quicker go-to-market with expansion of modern trade and online retail. He adds:

Brands have till now been built by either multi-national corporations or companies that are family-owned, but now we are seeing them being built by first-generation entrepreneurs.

Rishabh Mariwala, who heads the family office called Sharrp Ventures, said,

We believe the ecosystem in India has evolved to see the emergence of many more startup-led consumer brands.

Kanwaljit Singh started Fireside Ventures as a family office in 2015 after leaving Helion, but now has started building a team, hiring Vinay Singh as principal. It is also building a team of specialist advisers in areas such as branding and packaging.

Vinay Singh was a co-founder of vehicle services startup Stepni, which was acquired last year by classifieds website Quikr. Prior to that, he worked at Bankbazaar and Hindustan Unilever.

Kanwaljit Singh has also made few investments as an angel investor.  His angel investments portfolio includes Paperboat drinks maker Hector Beverages, ice cream brand Hokey Pokey and online meat delivery startup Licious.

Fireside Ventures has so far invested in six startups, including Mamaearth, THB, Good Parents, Blink, Delight Foods and bounty app. All of its invests are in seed stage. The firm has not made any investment this year so far.

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Fireside Ventures announces first close of ₹180 crore for its maiden fund with backing from Premji and others


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