The fund aims to raise up to £5 million per year and is expected to announce its first close at £2 million by July-end this year.

Unicorn India partners with London-based Ascension Ventures to launch Indo-UK EIS fund
Atom Startups Tuesday, June 12, 2018 - 13:37

London-based early stage VC fund, Ascension Ventures, which has been managing SEIS and EIS funds since 2012 has joined hands with Mumbai-based VC Unicorn India Ventures, to launch first Indo-UK EIS fund.

The evergreen fund aims to raise up to £5 million per year and is expected to announce its first close at £2 million by July-end this year.

An EIS (Enterprise Investment Scheme), is a tax relief scheme offered by the UK Government through which investors can avail income tax relief for their investments into small companies based in the UK. Leveraging this scheme’s benefits and Ascension’s track record of running multiple EIS funds, Unicorn India Ventures is aiming to open up the Indian market for startups from UK. This will bring in cutting-edge technologies from the UK to the Indian technology ecosystem.

The Fund is aiming to invest anywhere between £1 million – £3 million at the pre-Series A stage. UAF will co-invest approximately a third of the round, alongside leading angels and VCs across 6-8 deals a year. The Fund will be open for Subscription in June 2018 and UAF expects to raise up to £2 million by July 2018, with several investors already lined up. It is expected that UAF will start deploying investments by September 2018.

“The Fund represents a double benefit, where EIS tax reliefs afforded to UK investors can significantly reduce their capital risks and an entry into India offers a unique exposure to one of the largest and fastest growing economy in the World,” Jean de Fourgerolles, Partner, Unicorn Ascension EIS Fund and Founder, Ascension said in a statement.

The Unicorn Ascension EIS Fund will enter pre-Series A funding stage in a UK based startup, which is building products and services relevant for the Indian market. The investment teams will be based in Ascension’s London office and Unicorn India’s offices in Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru. This is being done to offer a genuine cross border exposure and business development support to investee companies.

Nina Amin, MBE will be the Chair of the investment committee of the Fund. Nina has three decades of experience in financial services in the UK.

“UAF is the first cross border technology fund focusing on the UK-India corridor. The fund will unlock significant synergies between the high-tech products and services emerging out of the UK and the numerous opportunities arising because of the significant digitization that is underway in India,” she says.

UAF brings together these two VCs that are based in both target markets of the Fund, to leverage the strengths of both these markets, along with recent announcements from the UK Government for a new UK-India Tech Partnership, to build a strong portfolio of companies established in the UK with the ability to expand into India. The vision for UAF is to be the investor of choice for UK based Seed+ tech companies, and their investors, looking to expand into India.

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