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Beenext raises $110 mn fund to invest in India, Southeast Asia
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Singapore-based venture capital firm Beenext on Tuesday said it has raised $110 million (Rs 832 crore) for a fund aimed at startups in India and Southeast Asia 

The firm also raised $50 million for another (Rs 380 crore) vehicle focused on SaaS (software as a service) businesses in Japan.

The India and Southeast Asia-focused fund aims to invest about 50% of the raised amount in Indian startups.

In India, the new fund will seek to invest in early-stage startups in the e-commerce, fintech, health-tech, agri-tech, and edu-tech segments. 

It will also explore investments in artificial intelligence (AI) and data-driven technology.

This is Beenext's fourth fund focused on India since 2015. 

Beenext has invested in 72 Indian startups so far including in payments infrastructure platform YAP, SaaS-based fleet analytics startup Fleetx, logistics-tech startup Loadshare, device management platform Servify, fintech firm Cube Wealth and account automation firm Open.

The Limited Partners (LPs), or investors, in the fund include institutional investors in the US, Japanese corporations, global family offices, and entrepreneurs backing next-generation founders, Beenext said without disclosing their identities.

The announcement of the two funds that raised $160 million comes amid the pandemic that has crippled businesses globally.

The India-focused fund could bring some succour to the startup ecosystem in the country that has witnessed a decline in deal activity because of the lockdown imposed to contain coronavirus.

Venture deal volumes continued to remain subdued in May even as angel and seed volumes finally came off their perch amid the pandemic, falling a little more than 25% last month.

VC fundraising

Other India-focused VC firms have also announced fundraising milestones or have hit the road to raise new funds this year.

Earlier this month, Arkam Ventures, floated by former executives of Helion Venture Partners and Kalaari Capital, marked the first close of its debut fund that seeks to raise a total of Rs 700 crore ($93 million).

Also recently, Lightspeed Venture Partners' third India-dedicated fund received a commitment of up to $25 million from a US-based pension fund.  

Last month, VCCircle reported that domestic early-stage VC firm Stellaris Venture Partners has hit the road for a new fund that will raise more capital than the debut investment vehicle did.   

VCCircle also reported last month that Sixth Sense Ventures was floating its third consumer-focused fund.  

In May, VC firm Iron Pillar, which provides growth capital to mid-stage tech companies in India, said it had topped up its first fund with $45 million.

A few VC firms such as Blume Ventures and Unicorn India Ventures had also hit fundraising milestones before the pandemic gripped India. Earlier this year, co-founders of Parampara Capital also floated the second fund that seeks to raise $100 million.

In 2019, around a dozen VC firms including Accel, A91 Partners and Lightbox marked the final close of their funds.

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