Stride Ventures gears up to take more of the venture capital debt space



India’s venture capital debt space has buzzed, with sectors such as healthcare, agritech and D2C registering huge traction. Delhi-based risk debt fund Stride Ventures, which recently announced the first closing of its Fund II at Rs 550 crore, hopes to mark the final closure of the fund by the end of calendar year 2021.

“Overall, the ecosystem’s movements over the past three to six months have been quite encouraging. Founders are increasingly aware of subprime loan requirements and how they can preserve dilution, ”says Ishpreet Singh Gandhi, Founder and Managing Partner of Stride Ventures. Lending to India is hardly penetrated, he adds.

Stride Ventures’ strategy for deploying debt is structured around two parameters – the first being to meet the working capital financing needs to fuel the growth of a business. Acquisitions and consolidations are secondary scenarios in which Stride Ventures sees opportunities for deployment, as they believe debt requirements will increase due to the very nature of these companies.

Speaking of mid-stage and late-stage companies, Gandhi said, “We anticipate an average funding requirement of $ 8-10 million for these companies. ”

The venture loan fund has invested in over 30 companies including Pocket Aces, HomeLane, Bizongo, Sugar Cosmetics, etc. The story of Direct to Consumer (D2C) in India has gone well, according to Gandhi and Stride Ventures have actively invested in this space.

In the case of B2B marketplaces, the company believes in deploying funds for companies with trade receivables. They envision both traditional and non-traditional businesses in the B2B space.

The digital health sector has been of particular importance to most investors since the COVID-19 pandemic struck in 2020. In a report released by Mercom Capital Group, it was found that total corporate funding for health digital technology reached $ 21.6 billion in 2020. Funding is cumulative of venture capital, debt and public market funding.

For Stride Ventures too, health technology startups have been one of the priorities since the pandemic with investments made in Medikabazaar, DocsApp, MediBuddy, etc. The company will use the new fund as an opportunity to enable more deployments in mid-term and late-stage companies in the startup ecosystem.


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