Venture capital firm Accel India announced the final close of its $550 Mn fund on December 2, saying it would exclusively focus on seed and early-stage Indian startups. This is Accel’s sixth India-focussed fund.
In 2016, Accel had closed its $450 Mn fund through which it invested in ecommerce giant Flipkart and food aggregator Swiggy. The firm continued backing Flipkart until Walmart acquired 77% of the company in May 2018, and eventually increased its stake to 81.3%, giving Accel India a successful exit from the Indian ecommerce giant.
Apart from this, Accel has also the first investor in software-as-a-service (SaaS) unicorn Freshworks. Accel started its investment in Freshwork journey in 2011 with a $1 Mn investment. This month, Accel India was a part of Freshwork’s $150 Mn Series H funding round, increasing the startup’s valuation to $3.5 Bn. Besides Accel, the round was led by Sequoia Capital and CapitalG.
Coincidently, Accel Partners also started its investment journey with Swiggy with a $1 Mn seed funding round, and the company is currently valued at $3.4 Bn. Accel India’s portfolio has over 50 companies, which include Acko General Insurance, logistics startup BlackBuck, online ticketing platform BookMyShow, bike rental startup Bounce, health and fitness startup Curefit and home services startup UrbanClap.
Accel was originally founded in 1983 by Arthur Patterson and Jim Swartz in California, US. It started its first investment fund in 2005. The company’s official statement says back then only one in 50 Indians had access to the internet, and to add to that even mobile phones ownership was at a nascent stage.
“Today, the opportunity ahead is significantly bigger than when we started in 2005: India can now digitally identify 1.3 Bn people, has 600 Mn internet users and 150 Mn online transacting customers with a national payments platform that processes $20 Bn a month,” the company adds.
Accel also adds that it expects India’s digital infrastructure to accelerate further. It highlighted that the rapid growth spurt in India is not just limited to mainstream sectors — food delivery, digital payments, and ecommerce — but has also positively impacted sectors like agritech, education, insurance, logistics, healthcare, real estate, and manufacturing.
Moreover, in its press statement, the company highlighted that Indian tech startups have created a $100 Bn enterprise value and will the increase in GDP in the next decade, the startups will end up creating a disproportionately higher value in the future.
Update: December 4, 2019 | 12:00 Pm
An earlier version of this article was published with the headline: “Accel Partners Launches $550 Mn Sixth Fund For Indian Early-Stage Startups”.