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Dhruv Bahl Opens First Venture Capital Fund with Rs. 120 Crore Total Assets

Bahl follows in the footsteps of several former BharatPe executives who went on to build their own venture capital firms and businesses, including GrowthCap Ventures, OTPLess, and OTP Ventures.

Former BharatPe Chief Operating Officer Dhruv Dhanraj Bahl has joined the group of BharatPe operators who have transitioned to venture capital investors by launching his first venture capital fund, dubbed “Eternal Capital,” with a total corpus of Rs 120 crore. With the addition of a greenshoe option worth an additional Rs 120 crore, Eternal Capital can now raise up to Rs 240 crore.

“The primary principle is that we are thesis-led and we believe in investing in companies that will sustain and transform the future…As an operator, I’m also well aware of how to measure mature metrics in startups to select them and invest in them,” Bahl told the sources

He further added saying “There are certain real-world problems that need to be addressed and an operator-led VC firm understands this the best way and comes up with a practical solution. That’s where we stand out.”

Operators and businesspeople like Suhail Sameer (ex-CEO, BharatPe), Tarun Mathur (co-founder, PolicyBazaar), Vikas Gupta (CEO, VLCC), Adarsh Menon (President, ZoomCar), Nalin Negi (CEO, BharatPe), Sameer Chugh (Founder, Mosambee), Saurabh Vashishtha, Kunal Suri, and Amit Bagaria (Founders, SimSim) have all pledged to the company.

“We have larger checks from our LPs as well as checks ranging from Rs 50 lakh to Rs 6 crore…Like startups and LPs, we will have a stake in the outcome, and LPs stand to gain more from their investments “added Bahl. In November 2023, SEBI approved Eternal Capital as a Category-I AIF, and the fund has imposed a five-year fee cap.

Bahl said that the fund is sector-agnostic and aims to build a diversified portfolio of ‘solutions for the future’, and plans to invest in 40 start-ups in their seed to pre-series A stages, over the next three years.

Since 2020, Bahl has partnered with multiple renowned funds to invest as an angel investor in over 50 start-up companies. Among the businesses he has ventured with in his portfolio are Fleek, Vama, AdmitKard, GenWise, DrinkPrime, Basic Home Loans, ApniBus, and Volt Money.
According to Bahl, the new fund will primarily target markets such as consumer and D2C businesses, sports tech, clean and environment tech, SaaS and platform play startups, and more.
“We plan to begin deploying toward approximately six commitments by the end of June.We will begin completing all of the paperwork at the end of this month, according to Bahl. The former CEO of BharatPe, Suhail Sameer, left his position in April 2023 to launch OTP Venture Fund.

Here, “operator” refers to executives at large tech businesses, experts in particular fields, and founders/early employees of startups who go on to raise their own capital, using their industry knowledge and full-time jobs to identify, fund, and assist outstanding startups. These could be a combination of operator-investor partnership funds, solo or multi-operator funds.

Since the beginning of 2022, a number of former BharatPe executives have moved on to create their own businesses, adding to the growing group known as the BharatPe mafia. Ashneer Grover, the former managing director and co-founder of BharatPe, actually announced the debut of ZeroPe on April 12th. According to its Google Playstore listing, Third Unicorn developed the app, which is currently in testing.

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