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Ajay Hattangdi and Vinod Murali quit Innoven Capital to start their own VC firm

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Ajay Hattangdi and Vinod Murali, who set up venture debt firm Innoven Capital, have quit the firm, reports Economic Times based on four sources aware of the matter.

Earlier, Ajay and Vinod, along with Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund Temasek, set up Innoven Capital, which has become one of India’s largest venture debt provider.

As per the report, both of them are currently on a gardening leave until July end and are expected to launch their own venture debt fund later this year. Hattangdi was the India CEO at Innoven, driving international expansion in Southeast Asia and China as well, while Murali was deputy CEO of India operations.

The report further says that Temasek has roped in an executive search firm to look for a replacement. Sources also mentioned that Temasek has roped in Chicago-based global executive search and leadership consulting firm Spencer Stuart to hire Innoven’s India CEO and have already started reaching out to candidates.

It is not clear yet if any of the other Innoven team members will join the duo, and if their stake in Innoven will be bought back by Temasek.

This development comes a little over two years after Temasek, along with Singapore-based bank UOB, acquired SVB India Finance, an arm of Nasdaq-listed SVB Financial Group, for about ₹300 crore in a quasi-management buyout.

After the buyout, SVB India Finance was renamed as Innoven Capital Group. Hattangdi, who was later joined by Murali, launched US-based SVB Financial’s venture debt business in India in 2008.

Since the buyout in 2015, the firm has doubled the total capital deployed from $110 million to $225 million at the end of March 2017. The firm was planning to deploy another $80-100 million this year.

Temasek already operates a debt business in India through its NBFC arm, Fullerton India Credit Company, which largely targets the small and medium enterprises sector.

Debt funding helps startups to extend the runway between two equity rounds of funding. This has especially been true in the last two years for Innoven, which operates through a non-banking finance company (NBFC).

He has been a technology writer since more than five years. At The Tech Portal, he covers gadgets, startups and the good and bad of tech.

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