Fundamental VC Launches USD 130 Mn Maiden Fund For India’s Early-Stage Startups


Fundamental VC, a Bengaluru-based early-stage VC launches its maiden Fund with a target corpus of $130 Million. The sector-agnostic fund will actively evaluate ventures across spaces such as Consumer Internet, Healthcare, Insurance, Financial Services, SaaS, Gaming, and AI, among others. 

The Fund received SEBI’s approval in March this year and has already started deploying capital with plans to lead investments in Pre-seed and Seed rounds. It will invest up to $1.5 Million in each startup and aims to support 30 startups through the Fund, over a period of 2 years. With a unique and differentiated model, Fundamental’s maiden Fund is backed by an equal mix of domestic and international Limited Partners from geographies such as Singapore, Middle East, and the US. The mix comprises a host of Unicorn Founders, HNIs, Family Offices, and Senior Technology Executives, who have been long associated with the early-stage startup ecosystem as operators, digital-first entrepreneurs, domain experts, and enablers who could facilitate cross-border expansion in terms of business growth and capital. 

Fundamental VC is founded by former startup operators, Saswat Sundar and Abhishek Rathi. Having worn multiple hats across organizations like Citibank, OYO, Stashfin, Velocity, and LetsVenture, and dealt with pre-PMF to growth-stage challenges themselves, the duo will be extending their learnings and experiences to build globally scalable ventures. They have spearheaded growth, fundraising, partnerships, and other strategic initiatives in their previous avatars. Their investment ecosystem extends to a large community of founders and investors globally. As early believers, the general partners have invested in their individual capacity in 20+ ventures across sectors. Some of their portfolio startups include Agnikul, Kenko, TradeX, BluSmart, StockGro, Dukaan, Elo Elo, and Redcliffe Lifesciences.

Speaking on the Firm’s focus on early-stage startups, Saswat Sundar, Co-founder, Fundamental VC said, “Our focus on early-stage startups is primarily due to our extensive experience-driven ability to understand the pulse of the ecosystem, and build companies from the ground-up and scale them globally. Whether it is networking to strengthen the proposition, building a high-quality team, or finding solutions to daily teething issues, we understand the hassles of starting up, and intend to work collaboratively with founders. In order to focus on the sustainable growth and success of each startup in our portfolio, we have a highly curative investment strategy, wherein, we will invest in a limited set of businesses with sound fundamentals instead of a spray-and-pray approach. As a part of our portfolio growth strategy, we have created a ‘ready-to-scale’ stack to help our portfolio companies achieve PMF and scale.”

From a strategic support standpoint, Fundamental VC has exclusive partnerships with several industry stalwarts to facilitate better GTM, user acquisition, product distribution, hiring, and growth strategy for its portfolio startups.

Speaking about the Fund’s vision, Abhishek Rathi, Co-founder, Fundamental VC said, “Being associated with the early-stage startups’ ecosystem for over a decade and having seen cycles of thousands of startups from an idea stage to growth and beyond, we have realised that there is a strong need for an approachable institutional capital support for early-stage founders. Our vision is to fill this gap by being the most reliable, approachable, founder-centric, and smart institutional capital support from day zero. Fundraising has always been a full-time activity for entrepreneurs. Hence, as partners with a skin-in-the-game approach, we want to ensure that founders stay focused towards building what they enjoy the most, while we take on the responsibility of enabling capital support required to build their venture.”

The Fund has built strong relationships and synergies not only with the pioneers from the Indian investment ecosystem, but also with global investors who do not have a presence in the Indian startups’ ecosystem yet. Further fostering synergies between its investors and portfolio ventures, Fundamental will ensure supply of capital for startups’ follow-on rounds as well.

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