The trend in the top five VC deals in 2009 is that three of them were follow-on investments, an indication that venture capital funds in India have shown a tendency to shirk risk and go for more established companies. Capital preservation was their key pursuit. Read on to know the name and shape of the top five VC deals of the year gone by.

Microfinance tops the list: Hyderabad-based microfinance institution Spandana Spoorthy Financial Ltd has topped the list raising $22 million from Valiant Capital Partners LP, a California-based fund. Valiant reportedly hold 11% stake in Spandana against this transaction. This proves that the bottom of the pyramid sector can be a chart buster.

Education a close second: TutorVista Global Pvt Ltd, a Bangalore-based education services company, raised $19 million from a clutch of investors like Manipal Education and Medical Group International India Pvt Ltd, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Pearson Plc. TutorVista raised the fund keeping in mind global expansion and acquisition-led growth strategy, especially in counties like the UK and Australia. It also got UK-based publishing giant Pearson Group in this round. Though Pearson has come in as a financial investor, it is believed that the strategic alliance with the UK-headquartered company would help TutorVista spearhead its global expansion in a big way.

Noida-based One97 Communications Pvt Ltd raised $15 million in venture capital funding jointly from Intel Capital India Technology Fund and SVB India Capital Partners Fund. This was the second round of fund raising by One97 Communications, which earlier raised about $8-10 million from SAIF Partners and Silicon Valley Bank in 2007. The funds were raised to scale up its operations and increase sales and marketing in India and abroad.

IMImobile Pvt Ltd, a Hyderabad-based mobile, online technology and content services company, raised $13 million funding from Sequoia Capital and its existing investor First Mark Capital. Like TutorVista, IMImobile also raised the fund for acquisition, especially in Europe and the US. Apart from acquisition-led expansion, the company plans to utilize the fund in developing the cloud infrastructure for tier I telecom operators.

Bangalore-based Si2 Microsystems stood fifth in this category with $12.7 million funding from Tokyo-based venture capital firm JAFCO Investment (Asia Pacific) Ltd, along with domestic VC firm Ventureast Fund Advisors India Ltd. Si2 is into design and manufacturing of electronic integrated circuits and micro assemblies besides manufacturing of other electronic components. It plans to utilise the fund to strengthen its Indian presence providing semiconductor packaging solutions in the country.

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