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Lightspeed Raises $1.5 Bn Opportunity Fund To Back Startups In India, Southeast Asia

Lightspeed Raises $1.5 Bn Opportunity Fund To Back Startups In India, Southeast Asia

Lightspeed has also closed Venture Partners XIII, Select Fund IV funds

Overall, Lightspeed has raised over $4 Bn for three funds

The Opportunity Fund will invest in startups in growth markets

US-based venture capital firm Lightspeed Venture Partners has announced the final close of three funds — Lightspeed Venture Partners XIII (Fund XIII), Select Fund IV, and Lightspeed Opportunity Fund — at $890 Mn, $1.83 Bn, and $1.5 Bn respectively. The $1.5 Bn Opportunity Fund will invest in breakout startups in India, China, Israel, Europe, and Southeast Asia. As of now, Lightspeed has not disclosed the names of the limited partners for these three funds.

From the Fund XIII, Lightspeed will invest in early-stage innovative startups which are in their Seed to Series A and B funding rounds while Select Fund IV will be deployed by the VC company to accelerate the growth of portfolio companies. Select Fund IV will also identify new investment opportunities across the globe.

Finally, Lightspeed Opportunity Fund will be established as a new fund vehicle to back companies in every region where the fund has a presence. Lightspeed says that innovation and entrepreneurship are not restrictred to the US markets alone and a platform like Opportunity Fund will help its investors provide support and value to startups globally.

The company noted that 2019 was the first year where more breakout companies emerged outside of the US. “For over a decade, Lightspeed has worked with some of the most experienced partners and affiliates in China, India and Israel, and recently expanded into Europe and Southeast Asia,” the firm said.

Besides these three funds, Lightspeed is looking to close its third India focussed fund at around $250 Mn to $300 Mn. In FY 2020, Lightspeed made successful exits or partial exits from numerous Indian startups including two unicorns — BYJU’S and OYO.

Lightspeed Talks About Covid-19 Impact

In the last three months, a lot has been changed due to the pandemic. Lightspeed said that the coronavirus pandemic has transformed both the personal and professional lives of employees, founders, and investors.

In most parts of the world, the pandemic is expected to long for many months and Lightspeed said that it will continue to present challenges for a few quarters. However, with the recently closed funds, Lightspeed is looking to help startups emerge out of the crisis. “In these difficult times, as the world fights a pandemic, we remain focused on the mission to back innovations,” Lightspeed said.

Lightspeed has remained active in the country since 2004 via Lightspeed India. It focusses on direct and cross-border businesses, generally investing $1 to $25 Mn in growth or early-stage startups.

Initially, the company invested in companies such as TutorVista and Indian Energy Exchange from its global fund. Lightspeed has made successful exits from both these companies as well.

Other Indian startups in the portfolio of Lightspeed include B2B marketplace Udaan, social content sharing platform ShareChat, digital ledger book OkCredit, voice AI platform Yellow Messenger, software maker Setu, hyperlocal discovery platform Magicpin, among others.