Uber-backed fleet management startup Everest Fleet has seen two investors – Artha Venture Fund and Rockstud Capital – exit, days after securing funding from Uber and Paragon Ventures.
While Rockstud claimed to have made a return of 18.8X on its investment in Everest Fleet via this exit, Artha claimed a return of 19X. The latter also said it was its first exit via its Artha Venture Fund I.
To be sure, Artha has only partially exited the startup, as the VC firm told Inc42 that it still holds a ‘high single-digit’ stake in the company. Artha made $2 Mn (around INR 17 Cr) via this transaction, having invested INR 10 Cr to acquire the stake in 2019. The VC firm did not disclose the quantum of stake it has sold in this transaction.
As for Rockstud, the VC firm told Inc42 that it has made a partial exit as well, selling 50% of its stake in Everest Fleet. The transaction valued the startup at INR 1,600 Cr (around $192.23 Mn).
Abhishek Agarwal, founder and managing partner of Rockstud Capital, said, “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 18.8x return on its investment through this partial exit.”
Incidentally, both Artha and Rockstud invested in the startup in 2019 as early investors, when Everest Fleet had a few hundred vehicles in its fleet.
Anirudh A Damani, managing partner at Artha Venture Fund, added, “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. Their pivot to an asset-financing model unlocked considerable capital and enabled them to transition to an asset-light model in a traditionally capital-intensive sector.”
Everest Fleet, which recently secured $6 Mn in a strategic investment from Paragon Ventures secured $6 Mn in a strategic investment from Paragon Ventures, operates a fleet of more than 13,000 green fuel (CNG and electric) cars. It has a presence in seven cities – Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata and Pune. The startup also picked up $20 Mn in a round led by Uber last month picked up $20 Mn in a round led by Uber last month.
Everest Fleet had said at the time that the funding would enable it to transition from being a CNG-dominated fleet to one with CNG and EVs over the next five years. By 2026, it aims to have 10,000 EVs as part of its overall fleet.
The startup has also started deploying EVs after placing an order for 5,000 cars with Tata Motors at the beginning of the year.