Indian start-ups are growing at an extraordinary pace and Venture Capitalists obviously don’t want to loose the opportunity to invest. In lieu of that, VC firm Lightspeed Venture Partners, has now raised $135 million in its first ever India fund to increase its investment portfolio within the subcontinent.
The newly raised fund will be advised by Lightspeed India Partners’ Managing Directors – Bejul Somaia and Dev Khare. The firm was initially looking to raise about Rs 740 crore but as the interest increased, it raised Rs 865 crore.
With this new fund, the firm is expected to invest in around 20 to 25 start-ups at an early stage, most probably via a seed round. The company is also focusing on investing in Series B stages. LightSpeed has been investing in India actively since last nine years from its global fund.
It invests in technology-led businesses as well as in non-technology opportunities in sectors such as advertising and media, business services, financial services, healthcare, education and retail.
Since 2008, no new Silicon Valley based investment firm has debuted country centric fund for India. This makes Lightspeed the first to do so post that. Many VC firms based in Silicon Vally like Sequoia Capital, Matrix Partners, etc. had raised country focused funds from 2005 to 2008. Recently, many global fund raised their second and third India funds.
Over the past two decades, Lightspeed Venture Partners has backed more than 200 companies. In India, it has invested in more than 12 companies, including CraftsVilla, Dhingana (Acquired by Rdio), FashionAra, Indian Energy Exchange, ITZ Cash, LimeRoad, One Assist, Oyo Rooms, Phone Warrior, FreshMenu, BroEx, etc.
Bejul Somania, Managing Director of Lightspeed India Partners, said,
Lightspeed will continue to follow an earlystage strategy from the India fund while leveraging the large global funds to provide follow-on and expansion-stage capital. Compared to markets like the US and China, India has far fewer established venture firms while the supply of high quality entrepreneurs and companies is growing rapidly.