Early partners for fearless founders with audacious dreams.
We are an early-stage, technology-focused, sector-agnostic investment firm. We started our first fund in early 2017, and are currently investing from our second fund ($225M). We prefer to partner at the ground floor level, and are typically the first or the second institutional investor in companies that we partner with.
In our relatively short journey so far, we have partnered with 30+ businesses across a variety of sectors – SaaS, financial services, B2B commerce, consumer brands, social commerce, education, electric vehicles, healthcare, and others. We are proud to have partnered with several market leaders during this period – Mamaearth is India’s leading personal care brand, Whatfix is one of the few global category leaders from India in SaaS, Turno is the category creator in commercial EV distribution and financing.
While as a firm we are generalists, as individual investors within the team, we are specialists. Each investment team member focuses on just a few sectors, where they build deep expertise by virtue of their operating/ entrepreneurial experience as well as through their investment focus. We believe it is important to have a point of view in sectors we invest in, even though we recognize our points of view often turn out to be wrong.
We do not borrow conviction, ever. This helps us stay the course when things get tough. We accomplish this by building expertise within our sectors of focus and searching for insight instead of information. Our diligence process often errs on being depth oriented, as we believe that conviction cannot be created out of thin air.
Speed and Transparency
We value founders’ time. As such, we strive for fast turnarounds when making decisions, and communicate transparently. We recognize that our judgments are often wrong, but we owe it to you to communicate the rationale behind our view. Once we invest in a company, we are partners you will never need to second guess.
We have been either operators or founders in our prior life, and carry deep appreciation for the sacrifices involved while building businesses. We bring that empathy and humility into our interactions, and that enables us to support founders more effectively on their journeys.
What stage of business do we invest in?
Nothing is too early for us. The name of your funding round doesn’t matter to us, whether it’s pre-seed / seed / pre-A / A / other nomenclatures that come up in the future :), but the stage of your business does. We commit at early stages, all the way from when you are just getting off the ground, to when you have some early revenue. That means we are typically the first or second institutional investor on your cap table.
I am just firming up my idea and getting started. Does it make sense to speak with Stellaris?
Absolutely! We love speaking with founders early in their journey, and have backed many great teams at the business plan stage where we found an alignment with our thesis e.g. Ayu, GTM Buddy, Turno. Even if we don’t invest right away, engaging early gives both of us a chance to get to know each other and form a relationship, and hopefully allows us to partner at a later point down the road.
Will you participate in subsequent rounds of funding for my startup?
Yes. We maintain healthy reserves for subsequent raises by our portfolio companies, and often look to do more than pro-rata as well.
My business is registered outside India. Will you consider investing?
Yes. Our mandate is to invest in businesses that are solving India’s problems, or are based in India to solve global problems. As such, we look for founding teams where at least one significant founder is based in India at the start of the journey. Where the business is registered is not a factor in our decision-making.
What is your decision making process?
We deeply evaluate only a few of the businesses that we meet each year. In those cases, we look to spend time understanding the market, the solution you are building (or have built), and the team itself. Conviction on the team is particularly important to us – the problem statement and associated solution often iterate for a successful business to emerge, but the team stays constant in this process. Depending on the stage of the business, we may look to speak with some of your customers/ business partners as part of this process.