Three seasoned professional women with diverse work experience and backgrounds – from IIT and ISB – came together to create a venture capital (VC) fund to create a clear differentiation with their seed investments.
Founded in 2019,is a start-up venture capital firm founded by Jayshree Kanther Patodi, Karuna Jain and Namita Dalmia. Currently, it focuses on three sectors: health, education and the environment. The founders believe that a sector-focused fund will generate better results than a broad-based approach to investing.
The work experience of the three founders is also a valuable asset for this venture capital firm in its way of investing in startups. Jayashree is an alumnus of IIT Mumbai and the Indian School of Business (ISB) and has worked with McKinsey and Khazanah, Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund. Karuna, who is also an ISB alumnus, worked with global impact investment firm Acumen, and Namita Dalmia was with Omidyar Network India with a degree from IIT Bombay.
Enzia Ventures, which received its license from the Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) in September 2021, previously invested in startups as a syndicate, which is similar to an angel investment platform. It made about five investments during this period.
Enzia Ventures believes that all three sectors are on the cusp of massive change driven primarily by technology, and that startups have the right ingredients to capitalize on it. For example, Jayashree ran a healthcare business before Enzia, which managed to improve its profitability primarily through technology.
Commenting on being a sector-focused fund, Karuna says, “We understand these sectors very well and bring in-depth expertise and the network.
As part of its fundraising, Enzia Ventures is targeting $40 million as its first corpus. Jayashree says he has already collected about Rs 200 crore from individuals and institutions.
Enzia Ventures also plans to invest in around 15-20 startups from the fund at the pre-Series A stage with a check size of Rs 4-5 crore. It aims to dedicate around a third of the fund to each of the three sectors. About 50% of the fund will be dedicated to relay towers in startups.
Some of the startups in his portfolio include Imumz, Numes, Morphle, Kafka, ZenOnco.io, Leap Club, Curious Jr and Proactive for Her.
Although focused on the sector, Enzia Ventures plans to pay attention to specific areas. For example, in healthcare, it will look at areas like specialty care, insurtech, preventative care, and more. In the field of education, the focus will be on segments such as emotional intelligence and higher education. In the field of the environment, he expects to play an important role in areas such as the financing of electric vehicles, the measurement and reduction of emissions, etc.
Regarding the qualities Enzia looks for in a startup, Karuna says, “Basically, we look at founders who build great companies with the right model and should have the qualities of integrity as well as resilience.
Enzia Ventures Seed Investment Portfolio
Value for startups
Karuna says, “We focus on startups with their results and what the customer wants.”
Founders say they have had cases where startup founders have chosen them over established venture capital firms because of their expertise and the knowledge they are able to bring to the industries.
Jayshree says, “We work closely with founders to help them on their journey of strategy, fundraising and focusing on results.”
The founders say that having been part of mature companies in the past and knowing how it works, they are able to bring that early-stage perspective to startups. They have also seen a significant improvement in the quality of founders over the years and say this is a sign of the maturity of the Indian ecosystem.
Jayshree and Namita have known each other since their days at IIT Bombay, and Jayshree and Karun were bandmates at ISB. Jayshree says the trio’s reunion is a confluence of opportunity and skill.
Enzia Ventures is also one of the country’s few female-led venture capital firms. The founding team calls this a happy coincidence and says about 50% of startups in its portfolio have female founders.
As part of its future plans, Enzia Ventures aims to deepen its portfolio of startups to create sustainable businesses.
“We will continue to identify good founders and keep them true to what they set out to do,” Karuna says.