Artha Venture Fund and Rockstud Capital partially exit from Everest Fleet, announce exceptional returns

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Following the announcement of Uber and Paragon Ventures’ investment in Everest Fleet; early-stage micro-VC Artha Venture Fund and alternative asset management firm Rockstud Capital announced a highly successful partial exit from Everest Fleet as well.

Incidentally, both firms first invested in Everest Fleet in 2019. These investments have proven to be substantially beneficial for both funds, and may even turn out to be fund returners. Artha Ventures claimed a return of 19X from this exit, while Rockstud claimed to have made a return of 18.8X.

India’s green mobility operator, Everest Fleet, recently raised $26 million in funding from Uber and Paragon Ventures. On October 4, the vehicle company reported that the recent funding brought $20 million from ride-hailing giant Uber. This development marked this as Uber’s first inorganic investment in India for EV expansion. The additional $6 million came from Paragon Ventures. This investment will enable Everest Fleet’s transition from a compressed-natural-gas (CNG)-dominated fleet to the introduction of electric vehicles (EVs).

Everest Fleet co-founder Siddharth Ladsariya
Everest Fleet co-founder Siddharth Ladsariya

Through these investments, the company, led by co-founder Siddharth Ladsariya, aims to incorporate 10,000 EVs into its fleet by 2026. Everest Fleet continues to steadily grow its operations. It has gone from just 150 cars in Mumbai to over 13,000 cars spread across 7 cities: Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai, and Kolkata. Aided by its latest round to enable its transition to EVs, the company has also placed an order for 5,000 cars with Indian automobile manufacturer Tata Motors this year. This decision puts focus on the company’s commitment to expanding its eco-friendly fleet over the next 5 years.

“We envisage a future where fleet management providers will partner extensively with cab aggregation and ride-hailing platforms to provide India’s urban citizens with comfortable commute and travel options,” said Siddharth Ladsariya, co-founder and CEO of Everest Fleet.

Artha Venture Fund Exit

Artha Venture Fund (AVF), the Mumbai-based micro-VC, recently announced its partial exit from Everest Fleet. Since 2019, Artha has invested in three rounds in the mobility company, with a cumulative investment of ₹10 crore. The fund netted $2Mn (~₹16Cr) in this partial exit and boasts of an impressive return (MoIC) of 19x based on the transaction in this round. In private markets, MoIC (Multiple on Invested Capital) is expressed as a measure of the total value (i.e., both realized and unrealized) of all shares in the fund divided by the initial investment.

Taking into consideration Uber and Paragon Ventures’ recent investments, Artha’s partial exit from this venture has thus far resulted in an Internal Rate of Return (IRR) of 105%. Moreover, many LPs who initially invested in Everest Fleet alongside Artha also chose to exit at this round. Following the success of this decision, the firm is targeting two more partial and complete exits in the next two years. Earlier this year, Artha Venture exited Vista Rooms.

“The venture confronted seemingly insurmountable challenges during the pandemic, facing a substantial setback. Yet the resilience and innovative mindset of the founding team shone through,” said Anirudh A. Damani, Managing Partner at Artha Venture Fund.

Artha Venture Managing Director Anirudh A. Damani
Artha Venture Managing Director Anirudh A. Damani

Artha Venture Fund’s managing partner, Anirudh A. Damani, relayed that Artha is India’s first micro-VC firm. It started operations in 2019 and has 31 startups in its AVF-I portfolio, which had a total corpus of Rs 225 crore. The group has a portfolio of 100 startups and has investments across India, the United States, Israel, Africa, and the United Kingdom. Following this milestone, the group plans to launch AVF Fund II.

“Our partnership with Everest Fleet was anything but ordinary. Our confidence was rooted in their sound business model, which extended beyond a mere ‘technology-first’ approach. This exit reaffirms our philosophy that startups can create substantial value by addressing real, tangible human challenges, not just relying solely on technology.” Said Anirudh A. Damani.

Rockstud Capital Exit

Following in Artha Venture’s footsteps, alternative asset management firm Rockstud Capital said on Wednesday that it has sold half of the stake it held in Everest Fleet for around Rs 20 crore. The partial stake sale marks the first exit for Rockstud Capital’s first fund, which has a total corpus of Rs 32 crore.

Rockstud Capital logo

Rockstud Capital launched its first hybrid fund in 2018. Through the fund, it invested in both listed and unlisted equities across a wide range of sectors; such as mobility, consumer brands, healthcare, fintech, and agritech. The fund has a portfolio of 10 companies, including BigHaat, Lilac Insights, Knorish, NOTO, and MoneyClub.

In 2019, when Rockstud invested in Everest Fleet, it only had about 150 cars in Mumbai. Following its steady growth, it has over 13,000 cars across seven cities today.

“This makes Rockstud Capital one of the very select few VC funds in the country to be able to return the entire capital back to its investors within the 5th year of operations. The fund has generated an 18.8x return on its investment through this partial exit,” said Abhishek Agarwal, founder and managing partner of Rockstud Capital.

Founder Abhisek Agarwal further revealed that Rockstud intends to exit one of its portfolio companies by the end of FY23. In March 2023, Rockstud Capital announced the launch of its second fund with a corpus of Rs 300 crore. At a cheque size of $1 million, it intends to invest in around 25 startups over the next three years. The Fund II will continue its earlier investments at the pre-Series A stage, following a theme across financial inclusion, sustainability, health and safety, consumption, and digitalization.

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