Illustration: Rahul Awasthi
Illustration: Rahul Awasthi

Iron Pillar has bought on board US-based real estate-focused firm Nitya Capital as an investor at the holding company level, the growth-stage technology-focused venture capital firm announced on Tuesday.

While the Mumbai and Silicon Valley-based investment firm did not disclose the exact amount invested by Houston-based Nitya Capital, a privately-held real estate investment firm, which owns and manages an estimated $2 billion in assets across the US. This is the first external investor Iron Pillar has brought into its Mauritius-based holding company, Iron Pillar Holdings Ltd.

“We have had conversations around how we can connect India and the US much more closely…It’s more about linking our respective networks and relationships more closely for the technology ecosystem in India, and looking to make more cross-border investments down the line,” Anand Prasanna, managing partner at Iron Pillar, told ET.

Founded by Swapnil Agarwal, Nitya Capital’s assets include multifamily units, to commercial office, single family homes, retail, townhome development and multi-use ground-up development projects.

“The Iron Pillar model is unique for its long-haul visionary approach to building large outcome technology companies from India. We are looking forward to augmenting this endeavour and building a portfolio of high return investments in the long term,” Agarwal said.

Founded by former Citi India investment banking head Sameer Nath, Prasanna, who was formerly with Morgan Creek, and former DFJ India head Mohanjit Jolly in 2016, Iron Pillar primarily makes investments starting at the Series B round and upwards. Last month, it announced the final close of its $45 million top-up fund.

According to Prasanna, the firm plans to deploy the entire corpus of the top-up fund by the end of the current calendar year, before kickstarting efforts to raise its second fund.

In 2018, the firm had announced the final close of its debut fund, at $90 million, which has been deployed in its entirety. The maiden fund, which focuses on placing bets on mid-stage technology companies, across sectors, has made about eight investments, including in subscription-based test prep startup Testbook, conversational AI company Uniphore and specialty pharmaceuticals company Vyome Therapeutics, among others.

It had also recorded an exit last year after Reliance Industries snapped up a majority stake in Hyderabad-based SaaS startup NowFloats Technologies for about $20 million.

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