Venture capital was completely out of flavour this year with investors becoming risk averse. Growth capital, follow-on rounds and non-technology sector were the buzzword among the VCs. Several venture capital firms completely focused on private equity deals. According to the deal data, Aavishkaar Venture Management Services and Nexus Venture Partners were at the same level as the most prolific deal-makers with seven deals each.
Number of Deals – 6
Announced Investments - $50M
Intel Capital, the corporate venture capital arm of world's largest-chip maker Intel, started 2009 with a bang by announcing three new deals. These investments were in mobile services company One97 Communications, online B2B marketplace IndiaMART.com and vocational training institute Global Talent Track. The firm continued its deal-making throughout the year with follow-on investment in FINO, pre-paid card firm ItzCash and Wortal Technologies, which runs local events portal BuzzInTown.
Matrix Partners India
Number of Deals – 5
Announced Investments – $50M
The India arm of the US-headquartered venture capital firm closed five deals this year, which included three new deals. Matrix is eyeing growth capitals deals aggressively in sectors like education, infrastructure, financial services, among others. Its largest deal this year was $20 million growth capital investment in test preparation firm FIIJEE. Its other deals this year include Ver se Innovation Private Limited, a mobile classifieds service firm, and Siesta Hospitality, which provides transit apartments for corporate accommodation. It also made a follow-on investment in pre-paid card firm ItzCash and classifieds firm Quikr.
Nexus Venture Partners
Number of Deals – 7
Announced Investments - $35M
The Mumbai-based venture capital firm, which manages $320 million across two funds, made five new investments and two follow-ons this year. Nexus started the year with follow-on investments in advertising network PubMatic and mapping firm CE Infosystems, which runs MapMyIndia service. Its largest investment was $10 million in Eka Software Solutions, which provides software for commodity trading and risk management. It also invested in US-based startups like VMops, a cloud computing firm and OLX Inc, a classifieds firm. Its other new investments this year included Deccan Healthcare, a Hyderabad-based nutraceutical products company and mobile payments firm mCheck.
Number of Deals – 5
Announced Investments - $18M
The venture capital firm which started out with a focus on outsourcing deals has placed big bets on India’s domestic consumption story this year. The firm closed four new deals this year and also made a follow-on investment in online ad revenue optimisation company PubMatic. One was in the speciality retail segment, where Helion invested Rs 20 crore in YLG, a chain of salons and spas. Another deal was Rs 16 crore in Brand Calculus, a Bangalore-based company which launched Canadian Juice and smoothies major Booster Juice into the Indian market. Its other investment this year was classifieds firm GETIT Infoserve and vocational training firm Global Talent Track.
Aavishkaar Venture Management Services
Number of Deals – 7
Announced Investments – $10M
The social sector-focused venture capital firm manages three active funds – two micro venture funds and one microfinance fund. Chennai and Mumbai-based Aavishkaar closed four deals from the micro venture capital fund, which invests below $2 million per deal. These investments were Waterlife India Pvt Ltd, a water purification company; Zameen Organic, an organic cotton trading company; Swas Healthcare, a chain of naturopathy clinics and hospitals and Saraplast, a sanitation solutions provider. Aavishkaar closed new investments in microfinance firms like Pune-based Suryoday Micro Finance and Varanasi-based Utkarsh Microfinance, which are relatively untapped region for MFIs.