Venture Capitalists in India play a key role in fostering the growth of startups. In the past few years, India’s startup ecosystem has taken off at full speed, making it the world’s fastest growing startup ecosystem. At present, India is in the third position just behind US and UK, and nearly 1,400 new startups are expected to crop up by the end of 2016, up by 8-10% from last year, according to Nasscom.
The country is currently burgeoning with innovations. As Guy Kawasaki says, “Ideas are easy. Implementation is hard.” So, to make implementation easy, several investors have came forward who are actively playing a role in scaling startups – from inception to the growth phase.
At this point, the primary role is being played by venture funds. Venture capital funds are investment funds that manage the money of investors who seek private equity stakes in startups and small- to medium-sized enterprises with strong growth potential.
These investments are generally high-risk/high-return opportunities, and India being one of the fastest growing economy with a huge customer base has attracted many prominent VC firms to invest in the ecosystem.
With the country projected to be home to more than 10,500 startups by 2020, according to Nasscom, this is certainly not a passing trend. Billions of dollars have been invested in the ecosystem and It has irrevocably changed the way the markets are working today in India and many international VC funds have been seen eyeing to invest billions of dollars to have a pie in the burgeoning Indian startup ecosystem.
Keeping this thought in mind, we at Inc42, aim to take a deep dive at the workings of the top international VC funds active in India. (The information is based on data available on the web and as disclosed by investors and firms in various media releases.)
Asian Venture Capitalists in India
Steadview Capital is an Asia-focussed hedge fund based out of Hong Kong. It was founded in July 2009 by Ravi Mehta, who was an analyst at hedge fund Maverick Capital in New York and before that an investment banker at Morgan Stanley.
Mark Schwartz, the former chief executive of Soros Fund Management and Goldman Sachs (Asia) chairman, is the biggest investor in the fund along with large family offices from the United States and Latin America and founders and executives of private equity and hedge fund firms.
The fund was seeded by Mark Schwartz and the master fund, that started with $500K, recorded a return of 92% in 2011. It was also ranked the best-performing Asian equity (including Japan) hedge fund for its 38.55% return in the year ending June 2010, according to data from industry tracker AsiaHedge. Also, as per media reports, it had grown its assets about five times in 2011 to $33 Mn.
Till 2014, the fund has grown its assets to $500 Mn and has made 12 times the returns of its peers with bets on consumer and tech stocks
The fund typically invests in 12-15 high conviction ideas, in both public and private equity. It usually invests only in companies with high returns on capital, strong management, and appealing growth prospects.
To date, the firm has invested only in prominent names in every sector in India including UrbanLadder ($21 Mn Series B, July 2014 and $50 Mn Series C in April 2015); Saavn ($4 Mn Series B, August 2014 and $100 Mn Series C in July 2015); Flipkart ($700 Mn Series H, December 2014 and $700 Mn PE, July 2015); Quikr ($150 Mn Series H, April 2015); and PolicyBazaar ($40 Mn Series D) April 2015).
Steadview also supports Akanksha – a non-profit organisation that provides high-quality education to children from low-income communities in India enabling them to maximise their potential and transform their lives.
Founded in 2014, RB Investments is a Singapore-based venture capital fund that invests in early-stage companies. The firm seeks to invest in Internet, mobile, information technology, consumer products and services, and hospitality startups. The startups are offered technical, technological, logistical, and managerial expertise to scale their venture.
As mentioned on its website, the investment strategy is based on investing in companies with experienced management, sound development prospects, a transparent structure of administration and high current and anticipated yield.
Also, RB Investments is one of the leading companies in the Baltic region in the field of corporate finance and consulting. It operates in close collaboration with one of the largest private banks in Latvia – Rietumu.
RB Investments’ journey started in India with an investment in Bengaluru-based online modular kitchen and home furnishing solutions provider CapriCoast. The firm participated in the startup’s two consecutive funding rounds – Seed ($1.25 Mn, April 2015) and Series A ($3.5 Mn, December 2015).
In 2016, it added many names in its basket including Swiggy ($35 Mn Series C, January); Impact Guru ($500K Seed, April); PrettySecrets ($6 Mn Series B, June); FabHotels ($8 Mn Series A, June); and BlueStone ($30 Mn Series D, July)
As per a Deal Street Asia report, it had earlier invested in companies like Spuul, 5asec, Desai Fruits & Vegetables and Delight Foods. However, except Spuul, there were no sources supporting these fundings.
Founded in 1999, Moscow-based Ru-Net Holdings is one of the venture capitalists in India that invest majorly in Internet and tech companies. The firm manages a diverse international portfolio of more than 30 investments spanning Russia, Europe, North America, and Southeast Asia.
Aiming not just to invest in, but also to partner with its companies, Ru-Net aims to share knowledge, build capacity and develop expertise to help company teams achieve their growth ambitions.
In 2011, RTP Ventures (RTP stands for ru-Net Technology Partners) was launched by ru-Net founder Leonid Boguslavsky and RTP’s Senior MD, Kirill Sheynkman. The goal was to extend ru-Net’s successful international investment activities to the US and to create a well-capitalised investment fund that focusses exclusively on American investments and plays by American rules.
Since inception, ru-Net has invested in early-stage companies that proved its worth including Yandex (symbol YNDX on Nasdaq), Ozon, Biglion, ivi.ru, iContext, iMobilico, Energodata, PSI Energo and more.
The firm made its first investment in India in Gurugram-based fashion etailer bestylish.com, participating in a $10 Mn Series A round in June 2012. The very next month, it also added another fashion etailer Freecultr by being part of its $9 Mn Series B round.
After a gap of almost a year, the firm became active again in 2013 by pumping funds in Snapdeal. The firm participated in two consecutive funding rounds of Snapdeal – $50 Mn Series C in April 2013 and an undisclosed amount during its Series C funding round in June 2013.
Other Indian startups that later became part of Ru-Net’s portfolio are Apps Daily Solution ($5 Mn Series B, October 2013 and $15.9 Mn Series C, March 2015); and FreeCharge ($33 Mn Series B, September 2014 and $80 Mn Series C, February 2015).
Launched in 2005, Moscow-based DST Global was launched by Yuri Milner, the Russian billionaire investor known for his investments in high-growth global entities such as Facebook and Airbnb.
In September 2010, DST rebranded itself, giving its operational wing the name Mail.ru Group and calling its investment fund DST Global. The global companies wherein it acquired major stakes are Facebook, Zynga, GroupOn and ICQ.
In India, the firm marked its entry with a bang when it invested $210 Mn in Series F round of Flipkart in May 2014. Later, it also participated in company’s $1 Bn Series G round in July 2014 and $700 Mn Series H round in December 2014.
The other companies added to its portfolio were cab aggregator Ola ($400 Mn Series E, April 2015; $500 Mn Series F, November 2015) and food delivery service Swiggy ($7 Mn Series C, May 2016). In August 2015, Yuri invested an undisclosed amount in his personal capacity in Indian healthtech startup Practo.
In August 2015, DST Global raised $1.7 Bn to launch its fifth fund. After the first fund in 2005, DST Global II, was launched in 2011, having raised about $1 Bn, followed by DST Global III in 2012, and DST Global IV in 2014.
The other international Internet companies wherein DST has invested include Airbnb, Spotify, Twitter, Zalando as well as in German incubator Rocket Internet and Chinese ecommerce giants Alibaba and 360buy.com (now JD.com).
Temasek Holdings is a Singapore-based investment company. Incorporated in 1974, the firm invests mainly in Singapore and Asia in sectors including financial services, telecommunications, media and technology, transportation and industrial, life sciences, consumer, real estate, as well as energy and resources.
Temasek has a team of over 580 people, in 11 offices globally, including Singapore and New York.
Temasek owns and manages a net portfolio of S$242 Bn (US$170 Bn), as of 31 March 2016. In July 2016, it reported a net loss of S$24 Bn ($16.86 Bn), a 9% loss in its global assets from previous S$266 Bn. This was the first loss recorded by the firm in the last seven years.
Globally, some of its major portfolio companies include Didi Chuxing, Airbnb, Lazada Group, Paypal, Xiaomi, Alibaba and more.
In India, the firm entered in January 2014 with $15 Mn Series B round in baby products etailer FirstCry. In May 2014, it also participated in $100 Mn Series E round of Snapdeal. Then, the firm entered Indian scene almost after a year, with the $500 Mn follow-on funding round of Snapdeal in August 2015 and $60 Mn Series G round of Zomato in September 2015. Recently, in October 2016, it also participated in $34 Mn venture financing round of FirstCry.
In India, Temasek has also made investments in Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, a global manufacturer and distributor of branded and generic pharmaceuticals; ICICI Prudential, a life insurance company; and CarTrade, an online auto classifieds company, BillDesk, and PolicyBazaar.
Tybourne Capital Management is a Hong Kong-based global hedge fund, founded by Eashwar Krishnan and Tanvir Ghani, former head of capital introduction for Asia-Pacific at Goldman Sachs Group Inc in July 2012. Prior to Tybourne, Krishnan – a graduate of Delhi’s St Stephen’s College – had spent 12 years as a Managing Director and Senior Analyst at Lone Pine Capital. In 2007, he moved to Hong Kong to set up and manage Lone Pine’s operation in Asia.
The fund focusses mostly on consumer, financials, technology, media, telecommunications and industrial sectors in Asia. It returned 16.04% in 2013, its first full year of operation and, as of September 2016, the total portfolio value of the fund is over $2 Bn.
Krishnan has been long on TV businesses in India and Indonesia. In an investment ideas conference in London in 2014, Krishnan also recommended investing in companies like Zee Enterprises and Sun Group.
Tybourne entered the digital commerce space in India with Snapdeal, participating in its $100 Mn Series E round in May 2014. Later in October 2014, it also became part of one of the company’s highest-valued round led by SoftBank of $627Mn.
In the last three years, the firm has also invested a significant amount in Jaipur-based startup CarDekho’s parent company Girnar Software ($50 Mn Series B, January 2015) and mobile commerce platform FreeCharge ($80 Mn Series C, February 2015). Freecharge was then acquired by Snapdeal in a $400 Mn deal in April 2015.
To date, the firm has placed its bet only on large players in the late-stage rounds, with no disclosed startup investment in India. In 2014, rumours also floated around adding Zomato to its portfolio, but their veracity is yet to be established.
Based in Israel, Maverick Ventures was founded in 1993 by Yaron Carni. Prior to founding Maverick, Yaron founded the Tel Aviv Angel Group. He serves as a reserves officer in the I.D.F. and sits on the board of the United Hatzalah, an independent, non-profit Emergency Medical Services Organization.
Maverick is a hedge fund which invests in seed, early and later-stage ventures, along with private equity investments. It manages a fund corpus of $15 Bn with a portfolio spread across sectors such as biotechnology, healthcare and technology. It provides funding of typically $1 Mn – $3 Mn per investment.
Launched in September 2015 by Japanese ecommerce firm Beenos founder and investor Teruhide Sato, BEENEXT is a venture capitalists fund headquartered in Singapore. Beenos, a global conglomerate that consists of a business incubator, is focussed more on ecommerce and online payments in its investments.
As a seed accelerator, it has invested in over 50 companies in Japan alone and over 85 investments globally including investment in Indian startups like ShopClues, Citrus Pay, KartRocket, BuyHatke and Droom.
With a fund corpus of $60 Mn, BEENEXT invests in Internet, tech and mobile-related businesses in India, Southeast Asia, Japan, and US. The fund aims to provide startups with capital, operational expertise, and access to a global network. It invests somewhere between $100K to less than $10 Mn in early-stage startups and has, to date, invested in a total of 36 companies.
BEENEXT has also received a committment from Beenos to invest over $5 Mn in BEENEXT, alongside a bunch of individual investors who have built companies in the US, Japan, and Southeast Asia.
Soon after its launch in India, the fund participated in the $9 Mn Series B funding round of Industrybuying. However, the fund became more active in the country and was seen participating in a series of investments in 2016.
Some of these startups included CREO ($3 Mn in January); NoBroker ($10 Mn in Series B, May); Locus ($2.75 Mn in Series A, May); Droom (Undisclosed amount in Series B, June); Voonik ($2o Mn in Series B, June); Bharat Bazaar (undisclosed amount in Seed, October); (GoZefo ($1 Mn in October, $6 Mn in November), Servify (undisclosed amount in Pre-Series A, November) and more.
Foxconn Technology Group
Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Ltd, trading as Foxconn Technology Group, is a Taiwanese multinational electronics contract manufacturing company. The New Taipei City-headquartered is one of the venture capitalists in India that make big ticket investment. Notable products that the company manufactures include BlackBerry, iPad, iPhone, iPod, Kindle, Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Nokia and Wii U
Foxconn entered India in early 2006, with its factories in the SEZ of Chennai. In 2015, Foxconn announced it would be setting up 12 factories in India and would create around 1 Mn jobs. Soon after the announcement, the firm led the $500 Mn investment round of ecommerce unicorn Snapdeal in August 2015.
At the same time, rumours also emerged that Foxconn will also lead a $65 Mn-$70 Mn funding round in Delhi-based refurbished goods seller GreenDust. However, the status of the deal is not yet clear.
Later, Foxconn saw participation in the funding rounds of startups such as parcel locker network company QikPod ($9 Mn), home automation startup eGlu, and Internet venture MoMagic.
While 2015 was marked as the year of slow down for the firm with only four investments in India, the year 2016 witnessed just one investment. Foxconn was seen participating in $175 Mn Series D funding round of home-grown chat messaging service Hike. The firm’s intentions of investing $1 Bn in Indian startups, which it announced in September 2015 have not been fulfilled so far.
Furthermore, Foxconn has also revealed its plans to develop 10-12 factories and data centres in India by 2020. It already makes smartphones in Andhra Pradesh.
Vy Capital is a Dubai-based global investment firm focussed on Internet and software companies. It was founded by Alexander Tamas, a former partner at Russian billionaire Yuri Milner’s DST Global along with Daniel Axelsen, Mateusz (Mati) Szeszkowski, and Vamsi Duvvuri in 2013.
Though VY Capital is largely a private equity firm, it also invests in a handful of publicly-traded tech companies. According to a recent media report, as of March 3, 2016, VY Capital’s US equity portfolio was worth $124.10 Mn and consisted of only four positions – MakeMyTrip, LinkedIn Corp, Lending Club, and Activision Blizzard.
There isn’t much data available on the firm’s investment in India in last three years. All we could assess is its participation in three consecutive rounds of restaurant search and discovery portal Zomato.
Rebright Partners is a venture capital firm established in Tokyo, Japan, investing in Internet and mobile startups in Southeast Asia, India. It was launched in 2008 and focus on seed and early stage startups.
In India, the firm marked its entry with $1 Mn Seed funding round of deal analysis startup Tookitaki in January 2015. It next added to its basket the news app NewsInshorts, infusing $4 Mn in Series A round in February 2015.
In April 2015, it also launched a $20 Mn fund to enhance investments in consumer-focused mobile-first or mobile-only startups in India. The fund is valued at 2.4 billion yen or $20 Mn, following the “zeroth” fund Batavia Incubator launched in 2011 in partnership with Indonesian financial conglomerate Corfina as well as the first fund launched in 2011.
It also appointed Brij Bhasin, who earlier worked at Bengaluru-based accelerator GSF, while inviting former Deloitte Tohmatsu employee Takumi Kawai as an investment manager for the Southeast Asian market.
Brother Fortune Apparel
Based out of Singapore, the firm was launched in December 2013. The only disclosed investment of the firm is Snapdeal. The firm participated in Snapdeal’s two recent late stage rounds including $49 Mn (INR 335 Cr) Series J round in February 2016 and $20.5 Mn (INR 140 Cr), additional funding round (a part of Series J) in August 2016.
African Venture Capitalists in India
Founded in 1915, Naspers is a global Internet and entertainment group and one of the largest technology investors in the world. The South African Internet and media group operates in more than 130 countries and markets, with long-term growth potential.
One key differentiator for the VC fund is that, instead of being a financial investor, it believes in buying the whole company and then back it with funds to scale further.
Naspers is divided into two core segments: electronic media and print media. The electronic media arm of Naspers is MIH Holdings and controls Naspers’ pay-television, Internet, and related technology activities.
Naspers bought ecommerce and travel organisation ibibo Group in 2009, in a joint venture with China’s Tencent Holdings, in which it acquired stake in 2001. Goibibo, an online travel aggregator headquartered in Gurugram, was then launched as part of Ibibo Group in 2009 only. Also, it invested an additional $250 Mn in Ibibo Group, raising its stake to 90%.
In 2011, Naspers launched its payment gateway PayU in India, which was deployed on Goibibo and ecommerce portal Tradus.in (a part of Ibibo Group, it was acquired by Naspers in 2008 and its services were launched in India in 2009). Later, in January 2014, online payments solution PayU India was merged with PayU Global and Naspers-promoted Ibibo Group became the stakeholder in the new entity.
Meanwhile, with the ecommerce boom in India, Naspers was lured into making a strategic investment in Flipkart, and participated in the $150 Mn Series D funding round in August 2012 through MIH India Global Internet Limited. Furthermore, Naspers also participated in Flipkart’s $200 Mn Series E (July 2013), $210 Mn Series F (May 2014), $1 Bn Series G (July 2014). As of June 2015, Naspers hold a 15.83% stake in the company with a total investment of $495.5 Mn.
In June 2013, through Goibibo, Naspers acquired 100% stake in online bus ticketing service redBus and placed it under the umbrella of Ibibo Group. In 2014, it also acquired a stake in B2B travel portal Travel Boutique Online (TBO).
This year, Naspers has executed two major consolidation plays in the digital space. In September, PayU India acquired local startup Citrus Pay for $130 Mn. Then in October, Naspers sold ibibo Group to rival MakeMyTrip in a stock deal valued at $1.8 Bn.
Recently, Naspers has revealed plans to set up a VC firm in India to expedite its investments in the country. The firm also roped in Ashutosh Sharma, who earlier led the India team of Norwest Venture Partners. The strategy will be to back scalable technology startups, which leverage India’s consumption growth. With an office in Bengaluru, it is expected to focus on early- to mid-stage transactions ranging from $10 Mn to $50 Mn for a minority stake. The firm is looking to invest in technology-focussed startups in areas like healthcare, education, and logistics, besides consumer internet and online retail.
Also, the firm has shown intentions to close about half a dozen deals by next year.
European Venture Capitalists in India
Baillie Gifford is an investment management firm which is wholly owned by 41 partners, all of whom work within the firm. It was founded in Edinburgh, UK in 1907 and currently has assets under management and advice of £148 Bn (as of September 30, 2016). Initially, it was a law firm but the financial climate of the time led to the business switching its emphasis to investment in 1908.
It usually invests in late-stage startups in sectors such as ecommerce, Internet, healthcare, mobile, biotechnology, travel, retail, fintech, and more.
As of October 30, 2016, the firm’s total assets in India account to 16.2% of the total, placing the country at third position, just behind China (35.1%) and Taiwan (19.1%). The firm has had Asian clients since 1989 and its broad geographical exposure also encompasses institutional clients in Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Thailand, Korea, the Middle East, and South Africa.
Baillie Gifford’s first investment in India was Flipkart’s $700 Mn Series H round in December 2014. Almost a year after, it led the second investment in November 2015, in cab aggregator service Ola, infusing $500 Mn in Series F round.
Kinnevik AB is a Swedish investment company that was founded in 1936 by Robert von Horn, Wilhelm Klingspor, and Hugo Stenbeck. Kinnevik is one of the active venture capitalists in India. It is a long-term investor and its investments are made primarily in technology-based services aimed at consumers.
It manages a corpus of $10 Bn globally. As per a media report, it holds significant stakes in about 30 companies operating across six continents in more than 80 countries. However, as showcased on its website, the firm is currently holding stake in only 18 companies worldwide.
In India, to date, it has invested directly in only online classifieds portal Quikr, wherein it first led the company’s $90 Mn Series F funding round in March 2014. Later, it also took part in the $60 Mn Series G round in September 2014, and $150 Mn Series H round in April 2015. It now holds an 18% stake in online classifieds portal Quikr.
The firm’s other indirect investments in India include the funding of German incubator Rocket Internet, which owned Myntra-acquired Jabong. In September 2014, Rocket Internet merged Jabong with four other online fashion retailers in Latin America, Russia, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Australia to create Global Fashion Group (GFG).
It is further looking to increase its share of Indian investments to a tenth of its global portfolio over the next five years in sectors such as healthcare and education.
Sofina is a Belgian holding company, headquartered in Brussels, which invests in several industrial sectors such as telecommunication, banks and insurance, private equity, services within the company, consumer goods, energy, distribution and various other sectors. Geographically, Sofina has investments located in Belgium, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Asia, and North America.
Launched in 1898, it is also a supporting partner of entrepreneurs and families managing growing companies. Sofina invests both directly and through private equity funds.
Sofina, marked its entry in India with Flipkart’s $160 Mn Series E funding round in October 2013 and later also participated in its Series G round of $1 Bn in July 2014. The firm has, since than, added to its funding basket, startups such as Myntra ($50 Mn, February 2014); Freecharge ($33 Mn Series B, September 2014; $80 Mn Series C, February 2015); Hector Beverages, the parent company of Paperboat ($28.7 Mn Series C, July 2015); Practo ($90 Mn Series C, August 2015) and BYJU’s ($75 Mn Series C, March 2016; $50 Mn Series D, September 2016).
As mentioned on the firm’s website, its private equity portfolio, at the end of 2015, engaged 27% of the group’s net assets.
The firm considers that despite global slowdown in terms of fundraising, the venture capital sector has been less affected than other sectors, particularly in India, where growth in the number of mobile devices and the takeoff of online commerce generates much interest.
Since the late nineties, Sofina has expanded its fund portfolio into hedge funds.
Nokia Growth Partners
Founded in 2005, Nokia Growth Partners (NGP) is a global venture capital firm sponsored by Nokia. NGP invests independently and focus investments in sectors such as connected enterprise, digital health, consumer IoT and connected cars. NGP has offices in the US, Europe, China, and India.
It typically invests in the Series B stage, between $5 Mn and $15 Mn as a lead investor and follows a co-investment strategy globally.
In India, the venture firm looks at two kind of companies – one with domestic consumption story and the other, with a global product story. The firm’s history in India dates back to 2005, when it made its first investment of $3 Mn in Bengaluru-based telecom R&D outsourcing firm Sasken Communication Technologies.
According to data available, in India, NGP has typically invested in maximum two startups a year. However, it invested in around six startup ventures in 2011 alone, making it the most active year to date for it.
The list included – TechProcess Solution (January 2011); Quikr ($8 Mn, May 2011), Network18 (July 2011); dealsandyou ($17 Mn, November 2011); Fashion & You ($40 Mn, November 2011) and Innovis Telecom Services Pvt. Ltd. (December 2011).
It picked up 3.5% stake in Network 18 as part of its ‘share-swap’ deal with Web18 (which runs the financial news portal Moneycontrol.com and where NGP invested $10 Mn in October 2009). And later also participated in Quikr’s Series G ($60 Mn, September 2014) and Series F ($90 Mn, March 2014) round.
Other startups added to NGP’s portfolio were Netmagic Solutions ($15.7 Mn, October 2010); fashionandyou ($10 Mn, June 2014); Vizury ($16 Mn, Series C, June 2014); Indix ($15 Mn, June 2015); and ZoomCar ($24 Mn, Series B, August 2016).
As of now, it has exited from three companies – Netmagic (Acquisition Jan 2012), Network18 (Acquisition May 2014) and Sasken (IPO, August 2015)
In February 2016, NGP raised a new Internet of Things (IoT) fund of $350 Mn to invest in entrepreneurs and teams with a desire to build a world where everybody and everything is connected. This is the fourth fund NGP manages and brings total uninvested capital to more than $500 Mn and total assets under management in excess of $1 Bn. The firm launched its third fund — back by a further $250 Mn long-term commitment from Nokia.
American Venture Capitalists in India
FTV Capital is a growth equity investment firm founded in 1998 by Robert Huret, Bob Huret, and Jim Hale. Headquartered in San Francisco, it also has an office in New York.
The firm’s focus lies only on three sectors, since past 18 years – enterprise solutions, financial services, and payments/transaction processing. The firm provides its portfolio companies with market insight, domain expertise, track record and Global Partner Network.
FTV target company characteristics include: $10 Mn – $100 Mn in revenue, 20% plus annual revenue growth, profitable business models, and blue chip enterprise customer and distribution partner validation.
It has venture investment commitments of $10Mn to $75 Mn under its domain.
The only company we could find its investment in India is Mu Sigma which raised its first round of investment worth $30 Mn from FTVentures (now FTV Capital) in 2008.
In September 2016, it announced the close of its fifth fund, FTV V, L.P. (“FTV V”), with $850 Mn in limited partner commitments. To date, FTV Capital has raised $2.7 Bn across five funds and invested in over 90 portfolio companies since it’s inception. FTVentures announced the closing of its third fund, FTV III, at $512 Mn in April 2008. FTV Capital closed its fourth fund, FTV IV LP with $700 Mn of limited partner commitments in March 2014.
Based in New York, General Atlantic was founded in 1980 as an American global growth equity firm providing capital and strategic support for growth companies. It was initially established as the captive investment team for Atlantic Philanthropies, a philanthropic organisation founded by Charles F. Feeney, the billionaire co-founder of Duty Free Shoppers Ltd. Starting in 2000, General Atlantic began to open offices in Europe and Asia and till 2014, has 11 offices globally.
The firm does early-stage, later-stage, and private equity investments across sectors such as business services, retail & consumer, financial services, healthcare, Internet & technology. It is currently an active investor in regions such as United States, Europe, India and Southeast Asia, China, and Latin America.
Also, General Atlantic has more than 100 investment professionals based in New York, Amsterdam, Beijing, Greenwich, Hong Kong, London, Mexico City, Mumbai, Munich, Palo Alto, São Paulo, and Singapore.
The firm has $19.6 Bn in assets under management, as of June 30, 2016. GA does not have a traditional “fund” structure. Its long-term capital comes from a group of wealthy families and well-established endowments, foundations and strategic institutions. It works with a long-term approach to invest in growth companies, with portfolio company partnerships averaging over five years.
The firm set up shop in India in 2002, with its first investment in Patni Computers, wherein it picked up 17.80% stake for $100 Mn. Later, it also added to its kitty, names such as Hexaware Technologies, Infotech Enterprises Ltd, IBS Software Services Pvt Ltd, Genpact, National Stock Exchange, Jubilant Organosys Ltd, IIFL, and IndusInd Bank.
In March 2010, it also participated in a consortium of private equity investors who together put in $425 Mn in Asian Genco, a Singapore-based company with power generation assets in India and engineering services businesses.
In 2011, General Atlantic made about 150% return from its nine-year-old investment in Patni, by selling its 14.6% stake to a consortium of iGate Corp. and private equity firm Apax Partners. The deal had valued Patni at $1.45 Bn. In 2014, General Atlantic made one of the largest exits, selling half its stake in IndusInd Bank for $125 Mn. The firm reaped twice the return on its investment in IndusInd Bank, where it currently holds a 2.02% stake.
According to media sources, GA has exited only about half of its India-related portfolio and returned over $1.7 Bn to its own investors. This translates into roughly 2.5x on its investments. Other firms that it has exited are Genpact, Cyient, Hexaware, NDTV and ShareKhan.
At present, GA’s Indian portfolio includes companies such as- NSE (2007); House Of Anita Dongre (2013); Garena (2014); Citrus Tech (2014); Map Boga Adiperkasa (2016); PNB Housing (2016), Zimmerman (2016); IIFL (2016). In India, it focusses only on four sectors- healthcare, IT, financial services, retail and consumer and has invested in startups such as Mu Sigma (2011), and BillDesk (2015).
For its India operations, Shantanu Rastogi acts as Principal. He operates from Mumbai and focusses on investments in the Financial Services, Healthcare and Retail & Consumer sectors in India & Asia-Pacific. He has played an active role in General Atlantic’s investments in National Stock Exchange, Sharekhan, House of Anita Dongre and IIFL Wealth Management Limited. He serves on the board of directors of House of Anita Dongre and IIFL Wealth Management Limited.
Till date, General Atlantic has invested about $1.7 Bn in India. General Atlantic has global assets under management to the tune of $20 Bn. General Atlantic will invest over $1.5 Bn in India over five years, says Sandeep Naik, the company’s India MD.
Gray Matters Capital
Gray Matters Capital is an impact investing foundation founded by Bob Pattillo in 2006. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, it has global offices in Nairobi, Kenya and Bengaluru, India. Bob Pattillo’s history also includes starting Gray Ghost Ventures, the short-term liquidity fund; Gray Ghost Microfinance Fund; First Light Ventures; Gray Matters India – School Rating System; IDEX Accelerator Fellowship; Village Capital and more.
According to the website, the firm provides flexible risk capital to entrepreneurs and social ventures throughout the developing world. The team deploys funds through seed-stage investment vehicles ranging from $50K to $250K and venture capital stage investments ranging from $250K to $2 Mn, with a usual holding period of three-five years.
The firm initially invested in microfinance banks that deliver financial services to low-income communities in emerging markets. To date, the group has invested across sectors such as mobile technology, healthcare, microfinance, energy, and education. It is currently on the mission to achieve “An education leading to a purpose-filled life for 100 Mn Women by 2036.”
GMC also invests in human capital and ecosystem development throughout the developing world, and collaborates with investees, and other internal and external stakeholders, to research and support game-changing business concepts. It prioritises activities according to market demand, and the potential for large-scale social impact and economic returns.
Till 2013, GMC has invested in more than 80 companies since 2001, and these companies have served more than 10 Mn lives already.
Gray Matters’ investment journey in India began in 2009 with Indian School Finance Company (ISFC). It is the first Non-Banking Finance Company exclusively providing loans to affordable schools. From 2009-2012, the ISFC has loaned $11 Mn to 560 low cost private schools. To date, the fund stands at $14 Mn and improved facilities for 1,100,000 children. (As per wikipedia information).
In June 2013, the firm invested an undisclosed amount in Bengaluru-based Unitus Fund, an impact investment fund. In the last three years, the group has made significant investments in startups such as SpeakWell Enterprises ($10 Mn March 2015); AddressHealth ($1.5 Mn Series A, May 2016); LIQVID eLearning Services ($1 Mn Series A, September 2016); and a follow-on round in ISFC ($6 Mn Series A, October 2016).
Some other initiatives of GMC in India include Wings – an educational social enterprise that seeks to bridge the education gap in India; Voice4Girls – provides tools to be informed, confident, and able to act for young girls throughout India, WorldReader – creating a world where everyone is a reader, and Sudiksha – chain that offers pre-school to children in low income families in Hyderabad India. Sudiksha received an investment from First Light Ventures in 2013 and again in 2015.
In India, Anoop Nambiar is responsible for the long-term success of investees by providing management support to existing portfolio companies.
A media- and Internet-focused venture capital firm, Thrive Capital was founded by Joshua Kushner in New York City in 2009. Joshua is an American businessman and investor. Kushner is also the co-founder of Oscar Health, a health insurance startup. Founded in 2012, the startup was valued at $2.7 Bn in 2016. In 2015, Kushner founded a new company called Cadre, which has raised more than $250 Mn in capital.
According to a Forbes profile, Thrive was one of three firms (joining Sequoia Capital and Greylock Partners) to invest in Instagram’s $50 Mn Series B round at a valuation of $500 Mn. Other companies wherein the firm holds stakes are crowdfunding platform Kickstarter, the eyewear retailer Warby Parker, the men’s toiletry retailer Harry’s, the streaming music company Spotify, the computer code repository GitHub, and the fitness class discounter ClassPass.
Since its founding, Thrive has raised $750 Mn from institutional investors, including Princeton University. Thrive has raised several capital funds – including $40 Mn Thrive II in 2011, $150 Mn Thrive III in 2012, and $400 Mn Thrive IV in September 2014. In July 2016, the firm closed its fifth fund with $700 Mn and is now reportedly managing a $1.5 Bn fund altogether.
As of now, the firm has made no direct investment in any Indian company. In July 2016, however, rumours spread that healthtech firm Practo was eyeing a new round of funding which would see it being valued it over $600 Mn (INR 4,000 Cr) and was in negotiations with Thrive Capital, Russia’s ru-Net Holdings, and existing investor Chinese online giant Tencent. If this deal gets inked, it would mark Thrive Capital’s first investment in the country.
Velos Partners was launched in 2013 by Eduardo Saverin, the billionaire co-founder of Facebook along with James Bailey (ex-associate at GRP Partners), Raj Ganguly (ex-VP with Bain Capital in Boston, Senior Advisor to The Boston Consulting Group and BCG Digital Ventures) and Parminder Basran (ex-Director at Iconic Images, Founding Partner at Twenty Ten Capital LLP). It has offices in Los Angeles and Singapore.
It is a consumer growth capital firm investing in retail innovation, health & wellness, and luxury & entertainment. In the initial two years, the firm made six investments in the US – which included Silvercar (an airport car rental service), Surf Air (a California-based membership airline), Pong Research Corporation (a maker of solutions that protect mobile phone users from harmful radiation exposure), ChowNow (which provides restaurants with custom online ordering tools), Twenty20 (a mobile photography marketplace), and Peek.com (a marketplace connecting people with everyday adventures).
In October 2014, Eduardo first announced his plans to invest in Indian companies, with a $100 Mn corpus fund. According to the reports, Velos was determined to make investments straddling between Series A and Series B in the range of $1-10 Mn, on those companies which have crossed the basic thresholds such as going beyond proof of concept, generating revenues, fast growing and are “at a stage where they are reaching an inflexion point”.
The firm’s operations in Asia Pacific, including India, are headed by Samrat Ganguly, who was earlier CEO and Managing Partner of the venture capital arm of SREI Infrastructure Finance Ltd.
However, since 2014, there have been only two disclosed investments in India, that too in personal capacity by Eduardo. The startup was Hit The Mark, the parent company behind Hopscotch, a Mumbai-based babycare and kids products e-tailer, which raised $13 Mn Series C in February 2016 and raised $11 mn in a Series B round in January 2015.
In 2015, Raj Ganguly and Eduardo Saverin also launched a venture capital firm B Capital Group, which invests in global emerging technology leaders and is backed by The Boston Consulting Group.
BlackRock Inc. is an American global investment management corporation based in New York City. It was founded in 1988 by Larry Fink, Robert S. Kapito, Susan Wagner, Barbara Novick, Ben Golub, Hugh Frater, Ralph Schlosstein, and Keith Anderson, initially as a risk management and fixed income institutional asset manager.
It offers mutual funds, closed-end funds, managed accounts and alternative investments to individuals, institutions and financial professionals. As of now, BlackRock holds assets worth $4.7 Tn under its management.
BlackRock marked its entry in India in 2014, leading the $100 Mn Series E funding round of Snapdeal. Post that it participated in $500 Mn PE funding round of Snapdeal in August 2015 too. In June 2014, it was also part of a $1.42 Bn Series D funding of global cab aggregator company Uber, which also operates in India.
In September 2015, various media reports rumoured about BlackRock’s plan to to buy out its JV partner Hemendra Kothari’s stake in DSP BlackRock Mutual Fund, wherein Kothari owns a 60% stake. With assets under management (AUM) of nearly $5.6 Bn (INR 38,000 crore), DSP BlackRock Mutual Fund is India’s tenth-largest fund house.
Founded in 1995, SoftBank Capital is the investment branch of the Japanese telecom company, SoftBank Corp. The New York City -headquartered is one of the venture capitalists in India that made big ticket investments in big platforms such as OyoRooms, Housing. It is a multi-stage venture fund with $600 Mn under management The firm is established and led by four partners: Ron Fisher, Eric Hippeau, Steve Murray, and Michael Perlis. It is also a member of the National Venture Capital Association.
It has close tie-ups with Asia’s major mobile, Internet and technology companies – including strategic partners Yahoo! Japan and Alibaba Group.
The bulk of SoftBank’s capital — about $1.3 Bn — has been invested in just two companies, Ola ($210 Mn) and Snapdeal ($627 Mn). It paid $200 Mn for a 35% stake in InMobi, an Indian mobile-advertising network.
SoftBank’s other big ticket investments included $90 Mn in Housing in December 2014 and $100 Mn in OYO Rooms in August 2015 and another $100 Mn in OYO in participation with Greenoaks, Sequoia, and Lightspeed. In November 2015, it led a $120 Mn Series-C funding in Grofers. Since then, Grofers has shut operations in nine cities.
As per some reports, SoftBank owns 30% stake each in Snapdeal.com and Housing.com.
SoftBank also has a JV with the Bharti Group, Bharti SoftBank – investments of which include the mobile application Hike Messenger.
In May 2016, Japanese telecom and Internet giant SoftBank said that its investments in the country will top $10 Bn in 5-10 years. The firm has already deployed $2 Bn in the Indian consumer Internet space over the last two years.
SoftBank, which owns one of Japan’s biggest mobile carriers and a controlling stake in US-based Sprint Corp, will make its first $350 Mn investment in a solar project in India. In June 2015, SoftBank announced a joint venture with Bharti Enterprises and Taiwan’s Foxconn Technology Group to generate 20 gigawatts of renewable energy. This would entail the three partners investing about $20 Bn.
Recently, the company shared its plans to aggressively back Snapdeal and Ola, to make them compete fiercely with rivals Amazon and Uber. But in November 2016, SoftBank wrote off around $550 Mn in the value of shares in its investments in India, which include ANI Technologies (owns India’s largest cab aggregator Ola), and Jasper Infotech, (which runs ecommerce marketplace Snapdeal).
SoftBank Group Corp chairman and managing director Masayoshi Son has plans to come to India in early December 2016 and is expected to make a few high-profile announcements. During his first visit to India in 10 years in 2014, Son had announced big-bang investments amounting to $900 Mn in Snapdeal, Ola, and Housing.
Headquartered in California, and a division of Intel Corporation, Intel Capital was set up in 1991 by Les Vadasz and Avram Miller. It was originally called Corporate Business Development (CBD). At that time, Intel mainly invested in American companies, and in 1998, 95% of its investments were in the US. Over time, investment in non-US companies increased, and by 2012, international investments accounted for about 57%.
Focussed on mergers, acquisitions, and equity investments related to tech startups, the company invests in a broad range of companies that offers hardware, software, and services targeting the enterprise, mobility, consumer Internet, digital media, and semiconductor manufacturing sectors.
For 2014, Intel Capital globally invested $355 Mn across 123 companies and saw 23 exits (three Initial Public Offers and 22 merger & acquisitions). To date, it has invested $11.4 Bn in 1,403 companies in 57 countries. In India, according to reports, the venture fund invested $62 Mn in 2014, across 16 companies.
As per available data, Intel Capital’s first investment in India appears to be in Kolkata-based Intrasoft Technologies, the Indian operator of US-focused e-gifting venture 123Greetings.com, in December 2007. The company marked an exit from its eight-year-old investment recently, in June 2016.
Now, with more than 76 companies in its portfolio (as mentioned on website), some of its major investments in India in the initial years included Yatra ($17 Mn, Series B, 2008; also participated in $45 Mn Series C round in 2011); IndiaMART ($10 Mn, Series A, 2009); PolicyBazaar (INR 30 Cr, 2011) and IT firm Happiest Minds ($45 Mn Series A, 2011).
In the past, Intel Capital has shown its focus on Indian startups, with close to 10 deals each year, however investments have slowed down since last year. Although, in January 2015, the firm announced its plans to ramp up its investments in India, it was only part of a follow-on funding round of IndiaMart’s Series C round in March 2016, and Hungama’s $25 Mn round in April 2016. Also, recently in October 2016, Intel Capital, announced at the Intel Capital Global Summit, new investments totalling more than $38 Mn in 12 technology startups.
Round Glass Partners
Founded in 2014 by Sunny Singh (founder of Edifecs), Round Glass Partners is a US-based venture capital firm. Its major focus lies in investments in the healthcare space in US and India in startups at early growth stage.
The team is working with an aim to make the current healthcare system affordable and accessible to the masses.
To date, the firm has invested in around seven startups in India which includes know’N’act ($500K, Seed, November 2014); zoojoo.BE ($1 Mn, August 2015); CUROFY (Seed, October 2015); ObiNo (Seed, December 2015); Gympik (Seed, March 2016); Doctor Insta ($2.5 Mn, Series A, August 2016); BabyChakra (Series A, October 2016), and LifeInControl.
Some of its other investments in the US included Savonix ($1.5 Mn, Seed, December 2015); LigaDATA, Obeo Health, TOOVIA C3, and Wrig Nanosystems.
Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan
The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board (OTPP) is an independent organisation responsible for administering defined-benefit pensions for school teachers of the Canadian province of Ontario. The OTPP also invests the plan’s pension fund, and is one of the world’s largest institutional investors.
OTPP was established in January 1990 and is headquartered in Toronto, with operations in London, Hong Kong and an office in New York. The founding President and Chief Executive Officer was Claude Lamoureux who resigned in 2007.
It is currently managing investments of more than $26 Bn in Europe, Middle East and Africa and has net assets worth $171.4 Bn. As mentioned on its website, the total return percentage on its net assets, since inception, is 10.3%.
The firm’s investing activities across the Asia-Pacific region is led by Amit Sobti, who joined the Private Capital division of Ontario Teachers’ in 2016. He has more than 15 years of experience in private equity and investment banking. Prior to joining Ontario Teachers’, Amit was a Principal at Unitas Capital and in the healthcare group at Warburg Pincus.
It annually discloses only individual investments that exceed $150 Mn, which represents less than 0.1% of its total fund. In India, the only disclosed investment for the firm is in ecommerce firm Snapdeal – the $200 Mn venture financing round in February 2016.
The firm also holds significant equity in several infrastructure assets including 100% of Bristol Airport and minority stakes in Birmingham Airport, Copenhagen Airport, Brussels Airport, and London City Airport and more. As per one of its recent announcements, the venture firm is now planning to take stakes in public infrastructure assets.
Founded in 2003, Stripes Group is a private equity and venture capital firm based in New York. The firm was founded by Daniel Marriott and Ken Fox, an entrepreneur and investor who was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Fox has founded various companies, including Internet Capital Group, ICG Asia, Syndero, A10 Capital, and Sentinel Fund. He has also led investments in over 35 companies and taken two companies he started public.
It invests primarily in sectors such as Internet, software, healthcare, IT and branded consumer products business.
The major focus lies on acquiring well-developed startups, and usually makes $10 Mn–$150 Mn investments in small companies. It uses various “M&A” (mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures) strategies as solutions for portfolio companies that seek to increase shareholder value or reduce shareholder risk.
The firm has, to date, made only one investment in India. In July 2016, it participated in the $81.5 Mn (INR 550 Cr) funding round of Mumbai-based BigTree Entertainment Pvt. Ltd that owns and operates BookMyShow. Some of its major global portfolio investments include Blue Apron, Seamless, Refinery29, Remitly, GoFundMe and more.
According to Wikipedia, the Stripes Group invests in companies with a valuation up to $300 Mn and EBITDA between $2 Mn to $20 Mn, and revenue greater than $15 Mn or greater than 20% annual revenue growth. The Stripes Group an seeks exit between two and four years. With a fund size of $500 Mn, it makes five to seven investments worldwide per year with an average ticket size of $40 Mn-$50 Mn.
In September 2014, Stripes Group announced that it closed its third institutional fund vehicle – SG Growth Partners III – with $500 Mn of commitments from institutional investors. With the close of Fund III, Stripes’ total assets under management are approximately $1.2 Bn.
In November 2016, a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission also revealed that it is seeking to raise $750 Mn for SG Growth Partners IV.
Launched in 2011, Harmony Partners is led by Mark Lotke, Founder and Managing Partner, Michael Chou, Partner, and Greg Eaton. It is a bi-coastal boutique venture capital firm which specialises in the early stage, late stage, growth capital, and expansion capital. The firm seeks to invest in technology, medical, and consumer companies.
It manages $250 Mn from offices in New York City and San Francisco and invests with an average ticket size of $5 Mn-$15 Mn.
Since 1993, the founding partners have invested in over 80 technology-driven companies including Aveksa, ComScore, Coremetrics, E*Trade, Infinity, Intersect ENT, Natera, Predictive Systems, Postmates, Priceline, Peribit, Scopus, SS&C, Swype, Synapse, Xactly, and Zerto.
Its recent exits include – Xceedium (acquired by CA in August 2015), Natera (July 2015 IPO), Intersect ENT (July 2014 IPO), and Divide (acquired by Google in May 2014).
The current portfolio includes companies like Anaplan, Capriza, Illumio, Platfora, Postmates, Spotify, and Zerto.
Harmony Partners closed its third fund at $105 Mn in May 2016, with an aim to invest in Series B and later rounds of high-growth, expansion-stage companies. It closed a $85 Mn second fund in November 2014.
San Francisco-based Valiant capital was founded in 2008 by Christopher Hansen, an alumni of Julian Robertson’s Tiger Management Corp. Prior to that, Christopher was a Managing Director of Blue Ridge Capital. It is a $2.7 Bn global long/short equity hedge fund, which invests in sectors such as social media, social bookmarking, and curated web.
Nicknamed as ‘Tiger Cub’, about one-quarter of the fund is invested in private companies. To date, it has made 23 investments, including big names like Dropbox, Evernote, Pinterest, and Uber, and had an annualised gain of 9% since inception through 2015, according to a Forbes report.
Valiant Capital started its journey in India with online travel portal Yatra. In May 2011, it participated as a lead investor in its $45 Mn Series C round. Roughly, after three years, in April 2014, it again participated in the company’s $16.62 Mn Series E funding round.
The firm became more active in India, last year, adding three new ventures to its portfolio – FirstCry ($26 Mn Series C in February 2015 and $10 Mn Series C in April 2015), FreeCharge ($80 Mn Series C in February 2015) and Mahindra First Choice Wheels Ltd. ($15 Mn Venture Financing round in March 2015).
In December 2014, it was announced that the firm is in the process of raising up to $900 Mn to invest in distressed assets in India. However, we found no reports confirming the same.
Based out of California, Mountain Capital Fund, L.P., is the venture capital arm of MediaTek Inc., a Taiwanese fabless semiconductor company that provides system-on-chip solutions for wireless communications, HDTV, DVD and Blu-ray.
The firm operates as a corporate venture capital that does early-stage venture and later stages venture investments. The fund is focussed on high-tech and innovative investments.
The firm appears to have invested only in one Indian company to date – Paytm. It participated in Paytm’s $60 Mn venture financing round in August 2016.
Other information about the firm is not yet available.
Warburg Pincus is an American global private equity firm launched in 1939. Initially, it was incorporated as EM Warburg & Co. In 1966, it was acquired by Lionel I. Pincus & Co., forming the current version of Warburg Pincus.
Presently, the firm is led by co-Chief Executive Officers Chip Kaye and Joe Landy and President Tim Geithner. Headquartered in New York, it has offices in Beijing, Hong Kong, London, Mumbai, San Francisco, São Paulo, Shanghai, and Singapore, with administrative offices in Amsterdam, Luxembourg, and Mauritius.
Known for raising multi-billion dollar global funds, Warburg manages over $40 Bn in assets. It invests in sectors such as consumer, industrial and services, energy, financial services, healthcare, technology, media and telecommunication, and real estate.
Warburg Pincus began investing in Europe in 1983 and opened its first office in Asia in 1994. The firm has an active portfolio of more than 120 companies. It has raised 15 private equity funds, which have invested more than $58 Bn in over 760 companies in more than 40 countries.
In India, Warburg marked its first few investments in 2006, in a coal beneficiation services focussed on washing, processing, and removing impurities from coal – ACB (India) Ltd and Lemon Tree. Later, it added to its portfolio – Gangavaram Port (2007); IMC Ltd. (2010); Continental Warehousing Corporation, Diligent Power Pvt. Ltd. (2011); Au Financiers , Capital First Ltd., Quikr (2012) ; Avtec, Biba Apparels (2013); Car Trade, Kalyan Jewellers, Laurus Labs (2014); Ecom Express, Piramal Realty (2015); and Stellar Value Chain Solutions (2016).
Warburg Pincus has invested or committed over $13 Bn across more than 75 energy investments around the world. Notable investments include Antero Resources, Bill Barrett Corporation, Broad Oak Energy, Encore Acquisition Company, Kosmos Energy, Laredo Petroleum, MEG Energy, Newfield Exploration, Spinnaker Exploration, and Targa Resources.
Recently, the firm gathered $12 Bn for a new fund in November 2015 and $4 billion in October 2014 for its first dedicated fund for energy deals.
Omidyar Network is a self-styled “philanthropic investment firm,” composed of a foundation and an impact investment firm. It was established in 2004 by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife Pam. As of September 2016, Omidyar Network has committed more than $992 Mn to nonprofit organizations and for-profit companies across multiple investment areas. The list includes consumer internet & mobile, education, financial inclusion, governance & citizen engagement, and property rights.
To date, it has globally made 134 investments in 94 companies.
The firm entered India in March 2014 with $90 Mn Series F round of Quikr. Later it also participated in the firm’s $60 Mn Series G round. In the next few years it has also added to its basket 1mg ($6 Mn Series A, April 2015 and $16 Mn Series B in April 2016); RailYatri (Undisclosed Seed, June 2015; Series A, April 2016 and Venture financing, October 2016 ); Zimmber ($2 Mn, Venture Financing, July 2015 and $5 Mn Series A, July 2016); Scipbox (Series B, June 2016).
Tiger Global Management
Founded in 2001 by Julian Robertson and Charles P. Coleman III, the firm has to date raised $9.24 Bn funds. It manages a hedge fund that does early-stage venture, later-stage venture, and private equity investments. The firm primarily focusses its investments in China, Southeast Asia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe.
In addition to having its headquarters in New York, it has offices in Beijing, China and Mumbai, India. In 2009, the office in India temporarily shut down operations; however, it restarted operations after a hiatus of one year. Tiger Global has 10 private equity funds, wherein the latest fund of $2.5 Bn was raised in December 2015.
The VC firm marked its entry in India in 2007 with $11.3 Mn (INR 77 Cr) investment in directory services company Just Dial. In 2008, it invested $5.9 Mn (INR 40 Cr) in offline coaching institute group TIME. Later, it also invested INR 30 Cr in 2009 in JustDial and exited from the same in May 2015, for $64 Mn..
However, the firm got recognition in India, only after its $10 Mn investment in ecommerce venture Flipkart in June 2010. Since then, it has partnered in almost every funding round of the company to date.
As of now, Tiger Global has made 188 investments including both Indian and international startups. According to a Business Standard statement, till May 2016, Tiger Global has invested $1.25 Bn in 101 Indian ecommerce firms and has managed to make seven exits, worth $473 Mn. This includes Caratlane, Babyoye, Just Dial and partial exit from MakeMyTrip.
In 2015 alone, it did 38 investments in India with total disclosed investments of $1 Bn and each amounting to more than $5 Mn. The major ones included Ola ($400 Mn), Quikr ($150 Mn), Shopclues ($100 Mn), Delhivery ($85 Mn), Lime Road ($30 Mn), News In Shorts ($20 Mn), Culture Machine ($18 Mn), MoonFrog Labs ($15 Mn) and more. The list of sectors invested in ranges from ecommerce to enterprise to logistics to gaming.
In November 2015, Tiger Global revealed its plan to slow down its funding spree in India. As a result, in 2016, it has participated only in four startup funding rounds viz. Hike ($175 Mn, Series D in August), NestAway ($30 Mn, Series C in April 2016), Shopclues (Series E in January 2016) and MoneyView (undisclosed).
Tiger Global is currently in talks with Flipkart to participate in its next round of funding which could be up to $1 Bn. Also, it is looking forward to exit from Little Internet Pvt. Ltd, selling its stake to Paytm.
Apart from the 35, special mention goes to a few below.
Alibaba Group’s foundation was established in 1999, when Jack Ma launched ecommerce marketplace Alibaba.com. Since then, it has expanded into around 11 verticals such as C2C, B2C, and B2B web portals; electronic payment services, shopping search engine, and data-centric cloud computing services among others.
At closing time on the date of its initial public offering (IPO) September 19. 2014, Alibaba’s market value was $231 Bn. In November 2016, the ecommerce giant Alibaba set a Singles’ Day records and generated 120.7 Bn CNY ($17.79 Bn) in gross merchandise.
Alibaba entered India’s ecommerce space in February 2015 along with its affiliate Ant Financial, pumping $575 Mn and acquiring 25% stake in digital payments company Paytm owner One97 Communication. As of now, it owns a 40% stake in the company, with a total of $680 Mn funds infused.Also, Paytm is in talks with Alibaba Group for an additional investment of $300 Mn-$400 Mn in its marketplace.
It is now looking to buy a stake in Indian logistic firms Delhivery and Xpressbees Logistics. It is also chalking out a plan to get Paytm to spin off its marketplace business. Also, in February 2016, rumours were there of the Chinese ecommerce giant, planning to invest in Flipkart. And even more recently, speculation arose of Snapdeal being acquired by Alibaba for a valuation of $2 Bn.
KPCB And Sherpalo Ventures
Both funds entered India at almost the same time (February 2006), making a similar portfolio. This included startups such as ClearTrip, Paymate, FutureBazaar and more. However, in 2014, both pulled out of the country to focus more on the US and sold the majority of their portfolio companies stake to Lightbox Ventures ($90 mn fund started by Sherpalo Ventures). Lightbox also bought KPCB’s stake in MapMyIndia, Greendust, Zoomin, PayMate, FutureBazaar and Kotak Urja. KPCB also sold its stake in travel service ClearTrip to existing investor Concur, but held onto its stake in InMobi.
Another player is Sequoia Capital, VC firm focused on energy, financial, enterprise, healthcare, internet, and mobile startups. The firm is known for its investment in companies such as SirionLabs, Grofers, Zomato, GirnarSoft, Zomato, GirnarSoft, BYJU’s, Zillingo, and more.
We would also mention Accel Partners, a leading early and growth-stage venture capital firm based out of California. The portfolio includes companies such as Swiggy, BlueStone, RentoMojo, BookMyShow, CureFit, FabHotels, and more.
The rush for VCs investing in the Indian market took off with the $10 Mn funding of Tiger Global into Indian ecommerce giant Flipkart. Since then, these big names have been flowing into the ecosystem to take a slice of the multi-billion dollar market of India.
Although this surge reached its peak in 2015, the 2016 scenario shows a different picture. There has been a definite drop in the investment inflow, although the number of deals have kept increasing. (See: H1 Funding report).
With the so-called bursting of the bubble in 2016, the investors have become cautious, they are still picking up what they believe are good bets that will stand the test of time and they are still bullish on India. They have largely been co-investors with either existing investors in a company or investors that have already established a presence in India, a move that significantly reduces their risk.
However, with the UBS Group AG expecting Indian online retail market to touch $48-60 Bn by 2020 and Morgan Stanley seeing it at $120 Bn, the market remains hopeful that it could still attract a new set of venture firms willing to bet their millions on a robust ecosystem like India.
[Stay tuned for second part of the article]
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