AI-focused VC firm pi Ventures gets backed by Accel Partners

pi Ventures, a venture capital firm which focuses on Artificial Intelligence (AI) , Machine Learning and IoT investments, has received funding from Accel Partners for its $30-40 million fund. This comes weeks after the firm raised $13 million funding. However, the amount invested has not been disclosed.

Earlier this month, pi Ventures secured $13 million from India’s top lender to small businesses, SIDBI, prominent family offices from USA, Canada, Singapore & India, and leading entrepreneurs like Mohandas Pai, Binny Bansal, Deep Kalra, Sanjeev Bikchandani and Bhupen Shah among others.

Speaking on the investment, Shekhar Kirani, partner at Accel Partners, said,

We have been looking at all the ecosystem small funds where they are unique and differentiated. We have been investing small money into those funds. We have been working together with Manish who we have known for ages. We have been helping him set up the fund. This is our third investment into a speciality-driven fund that is focused on building a good entrepreneurial pipeline.

This isn’t the first time that Accel has backed a VC firm. Earlier, it also backed Ideaspring Capital, which makes seed investments in product startups. It has also invested in Jungle Ventures, which invests primarily in Southeast Asia.

Additionally, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the financial arm of the World Bank, has also proposed to make an equity investment of $3 million in pi Ventures. The investment is through the IFC Startup Catalyst (ISC) programme and is intended to support local innovation and entrepreneurship.

Manish Singhal, founding partner, pi Ventures, said,

The (IFC) process is still on. We are very excited about Accel investing in us. We have taken a lot of guidance from them in making this fund.There is a lot of synergy.

The colour of investors will change in the final close. We will get support from larger institutional players, primarily fund-of-funds, whose mandate is to invest in funds.We are also looking at corporates (which aim to) invest in funds and large family offices.

pi Ventures was co-founded by Manish Singhal and Umakant Soni in 2016. The Bengaluru-based firm plans to invest in 18-20 start-ups from this fund over a 3-4 year time frame. So far, it has made three investments in the healthcare and energy-efficiency space namely SigTuple, Zenatix and ten3T.

Original Source