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Bertelsmann raises $500 mn for India, eyes early-stage investments

By Anuj Suvarna

  • 28 Jun 2022
Credit: 123RF.com

Venture capital company Bertelsmann India Investments has announced an India-focused fund of $500 million. 

Additionally, indicating an intent to foray into early-stage investments, the VC company said in a statement that it will look at making select Series A investments.  

Bertelsmann is looking to deploy capital across 6-8 companies every year, for now. 

In 2022 and 2023, it plans to focus on investments in healthtech, enterprise tech, future of work, fintech, agritech and other sectors. The fund will also be keeping an eye on disruptive technologies like Web3 and deeptech, and plans to open more offices in India and the region, the statement said.    

“Today, mid-stage funding in India and the region has transitioned into the early growth stage with multiple disruptive startups building such an ecosystem. With a decade of experience, we have witnessed that founders and companies are exhibiting maturity at an early stage. No doubt, the industry landscape is changing and we are ready to dive in,” said Pankaj Makkar, managing director, Bertelsmann India.     

Bertelsmann India, which is the strategic investment arm of Germany-headquartered media firm Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA, doesn't have an India-dedicated fund per se and invests from a balance sheet. The venture capital firm started investing in India in 2013. Since its launch in 2013, BII has invested in more than 17 companies. Current investments include Eruditus, Licious, Shiprocket, Pepperfry, AgroStar, Lendingkart, among others.    

Bertelsmann India is one of the few mid-stage venture capital firms in India. Other such firms include Iron Pillar and the newly-launched TrueScale Capital last year.    

Bertelsmann India is largely sector agnostic but it is generally more inclined towards consumer, fintech, education and logistics. The venture capital firm has started to make more investments in the enterprise tech space. Its investments in Vymo and Skeps fall under that category.    

In a past interaction with VCCircle, Makkar noted that Bertelsmann India has started to "selectively" make Series A investments while 80-90% of its capital will be devoted to mid-stage (Series B & C) investments that are its bread and butter.  

The company’s investment in Skeps last year was an example of Series A funding. 

The venture capital firm has started to make more investments in the enterprise tech space. Its investments in Vymo and Skeps fall under that category. It is also looking at deals in the business-to-business (B2B) commerce segment and is "super bullish" on healthtech.  

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