Sixth Sense Ventures: India’s First Domestic Consumer Venture Fund!

Nikhil Vora, Founder & CEO, Sixth Sense Ventures Advisors LLP | Insights Success | Business Magazine

The Indian entrepreneurial landscape is transforming, and more importantly, the “pace” of change is accelerating. While it took almost ten years for the first four unicorns to get created in India, the next twenty unicorns have been created in less than five years! While technology plays a pivotal role in fuelling new ideas for startups, entrepreneurs have also walked an extra mile to embrace tech-enabled innovation in various segments. From food deliveries to banks, hotels, agriculture, life science companies and so on, entrepreneurs have flooded the venture market.
This excerpt explores and highlights the journey of Sixth Sense Ventures Advisors LLP – India’s first domestic, consumer-centric venture fund, founded by Nikhil Vora. Regarded as one of the strongest analytical minds in the country, Nikhil was also the Ex-Managing Director and Head of Research at IDFC Securities. Having acquired over seventeen years of acumen in capital markets, his expertise and knowledge have been acknowledged at various national and global platforms.
Nikhil Vora: Pursuing Excellence by Overcoming Obstacles
A post-graduate in Management, Nikhil was a member participant at the Future Leaders Program at the Saïd Business School – University of Oxford, London. He was also bestowed with the ‘Thought Leadership’ award by IDFC Ltd. He was invited by the ‘Nestle Global Consumer Board’ and the ‘Regional CFO Forum’ to outline the potential roadmap for Nestle India.
Continuing the long list of his achievement, Nikhil was voted as India’s No.1 analyst by Asia Money polls 2012. He also has the rare distinction of being voted Asia’s Best Analyst by the Wall Street Journal in the same year. Prior commencing his entrepreneurial voyage, Nikhil was actively seed investing in his personal capacity, with investing in companies like Paytm, Fogg Deodorants, Go Cheese, BVG India Kangaroo Kids and Bewakoof to name a few. A young entrepreneur himself, he likes to interact with young, dynamic entrepreneurs quite often. To unwind himself from his professional commitments, he loves conversing with his twelve-year-old daughter as he believes the interaction reflects a true perspective. For adding more thrills and excitements, sky diving, bungee jumping and indulging in a bit of Salsa are his favorite choices.
The Inception Saga
Right from the inception, the key strategy for Sixth Sense is to evolve as a mature board to first-generation entrepreneurs, who are disrupting large spaces and carving out a niche for themselves. Founded in 2014, the entity not only invests in startups but is a startup itself. As the venture space is clearly coming-of-age and its ethos of investing in the consumers of ‘tomorrow’ is helping the entity to lead the charge in the consumption space through a unique approach.
The company closed its first fund in 2016 -SSIO-I (Sixth Sense India Opportunities-I) with a corpus of 118Cr. It invested in ten companies across food, contract manufacturing, logistics, entertainment, internet services, and luxury sectors. Today, the fund is already at 2.3X (44% IRR), with 4 exits already completed, it attained a rare feat of being the first VC fund in the world to return capital back to its investors within 3 years. The success journey continued to boom as the second fund (SSIO-II) closed at 515Cr – that was more than double than its target corpus of 250Cr, thanks to enthusiastic investor interest. Attaining this milestone in a record nine months, especially when other funds were struggling to raise capital due to volatility in market showcased its unique approach within the VC industry. Sixth sense promises to come up with a much larger corpus with a greater offshore presence while launching its third fund – SSIO-III in the near future. Time and again it has managed to stay ahead of the market players and has been honored for its contribution in the Indian VC industry.

  • Fundraiser of the Year 2018 – Venture Capital at the Annual VC Circle Awards.
  • Best Asia Consumer Centric Venture Fund – 2017 by Wealth & Finance International.
  • Best for Domestic Consumer Centric Ventures – India by Acquisition International in 2016

Investor’s Blue-eyed Company
By embracing customer-centric strategies, the company has carved a niche for itself in today’s competitive VC market. The unwavering approach of investing and not getting carried away by trends has caught the eyeballs of the market. As a result, investors are not only getting multifold returns on their investments but also getting their capital back four years before time, i.e. within three years of investing even though the fund life is seven years. The portfolio grew substantially despite the struggles in the market with SSIO-I generating an IRR of 44% – 3.3X to that of the NIFTY!

43.72% 13.22% 10.15% 10-15%

The Present and Future of Indian Startups & Entrepreneurs
Ranked as one of the top five countries in the most Startup Friendly Countries across the globe, India has immense potential to step up the ladder in quick succession. With infinite possibilities, the landscape for new-age consumer brands has attained new heights and disruption in modes of distribution and marketing has evolved as the two pillars of brand-building. “Believe in Self, Create an Eco-system, be adequately capitalized and also be aware that it’s not only Passion but Execution which will take you far” is how Nikhil advises the young entrepreneurs.

Related Posts