Avataar launches $300 million fund for SaaS, B2B ventures

Former VC and Saas executives join hands, partner with HarbourVest for new fund

Sayan Chakraborty
Published: Sep 23, 2019 01:59:31 PM IST
Updated: Sep 23, 2019 02:52:23 PM IST

Everything about entrepreneurship, the good, bad and the ugly of it, fascinates me. I take a keen interest on startups and venture capital firms and have written extensively on fundraises, M&As and business strategies. I can safely say changing tracks from engineering to journalism has been one of my best decisions. When not working, I indulge in almost every Indian's poison, cricket, playing or watching. I am a foodie and video game buff.

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Mohan Kumar, a former partner with Norwest Venture Partners and Nishant Rao, former chief operating officer at Freshworks, have together launched a $300 million venture capital fund called Avataar Venture Partners.

Avataar will invest $10 million to $30 million in growth-stage businesses, to business and software as a service companies that have at least $15 million in annual recurring revenues and a global footprint.

The fund counts HarbourVest as its limited partner, a 36-year-old fund of funds that has $64 billion in assets under management.

“With Avataar, we want to create an ecosystem of strong execution-focused partners who have built scale, have seen the story before and can bring timely learning from past successes and failures to our entrepreneurs. The fund will focus on bringing this as a key differentiator beyond capital. The partnership with HarbourVest will allow us to provide capital needed to scale our businesses,” Kumar and Rao said in a statement.

To begin with, Avataar has acquired Norwest Venture Partner’s stake in six of its portfolio companies in a block purchase—Appnomic, Capillary, CRMNext, ElasticRun, Manthan and Zenoti. While the financial details of the deal were not disclosed, all six companies were Kumar’s investment while at Norwest.

Zenoti has gone on to raise significant capital. Zenoti has raised at least $90 million from the likes of Tiger Global Management and Accel Partners, apart from Norwest. The likes of Capillary and Manthan have a significant global footprint.

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