Delhi-based biopharma firm Vyome Biosciences, which makes pharmaceutical and consumer care products for skin conditions, has been backed by Boston-based early stage investment firm Romulus Capital’s maiden Indian deal. Romulus has invested $2 million as part of the larger series-C round of Delhi-based Vyome.
The capital from the new round will help Vyome finish phase two of drug development, after which the startup could be valued between $300 and $500 million. Vyome has earlier raised around $11 million from investors like Kalaari Capital, Sabre partners, Aarin Capital and Navam Capital.
Romulus has some ultra-wealthy families as well as academics as investors including one of India’s oldest business families, the Dalmias. Though not official, the fund has reported links to both Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Romulus Capital has closed its third fund, at $75 million taking the total asset under management to $150 million now. Around a third of the portfolio companies of Romulus Capital have started on the two campuses, including the latest investment.
The investment by venture capital firm, which was founded by Krishna Gupta along with Neil Chheda while still studying at MIT, comes at a time when the firm is looking at more deals in India.
The startup’s founders include Dr. Shiladitya Sengupta, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School besides CEO N Venkat.
Sengupta, who is a serial entrepreneur and co-founder of Invictus Oncology, Cerulean Pharmaceuticals, and Mitra Biotech, said, “We are entering clinical studies and it is a major milestone, as we have got FDA approval human trials in next two months.”
Sengupta also stated that he expects the new drug, a product for the treatment of drug-resistant acne, will get approved four years from now.
Romulus expects to make 4-5 investments in startups like Vyome over the next two years, especially in seed and series-A rounds. “We have been looking at India for a couple of years, but there was a ridiculous inflation in valuation,” said 29-year-old Gupta.