Silicon Valley-based tech entrepreneur Jyoti Bansal, who sold his app performance management company AppDynamics to IT giant Cisco for $3.7 billion early this year, is set to become an active investor in Indian startups.
Bansal has already made an undisclosed amount of pre-Series A investment in Bangalore-based sales and marketing execution startup LeadSquared, a company statement said. He is close to backing another tech venture, and will back a few more down the line, several people with knowledge of his plans told VCCircle. He is likely to float a venture fund as well, they added.
Bansal, who made around $520 million from his 14% stake in AppDynamics, is also likely to invest in fin-tech startup Funds Tiger, according to two of the people cited above. One of the persons said his venture investment fund is likely to have a corpus of $75-150 million.
Bansal confirmed his investments in the two companies, but said he hadn’t “finalised plans yet” for the venture fund.
LeadSquared, a business-to-business tech startup founded in 2012 by Nilesh Patel, Sudhakar Gorti and Prashant Singh, operates on the software-as-a-service (SaaS) model. It helps clients capture leads across the web and enables them to track, manage, engage, and follow up till the transaction is closed. Including e-tailer Flipkart, ed-tech startup Byju’s, insurer Bharti AXA and human resource consulting firm Randstad, LeadSquared claims to have around 700 clients.
“LeadSquared has had exceptional success in the Indian market, and I believe their story is right up there to succeed in North American markets. I look forward to working with the team and helping them grow,” Bansal said.
LeadSquared will use the funds to accelerate customer acquisition in North America. Nilesh Patel, CEO of LeadSquared, said, “Jyoti is an enterprise software visionary and his investment comes as a shot in the arm for LeadSquared’s sales execution story. LeadSquared has always been about…shielding sales executives and managers from bulky CRM systems and helping them focus on closing deals.”
Patel and Gorti were previously co-founders at Proteans Software, a company they founded in 2003, and Singh was a founding team member. They sold Proteans to Symphony Teleca Corporation in 2010 before starting LeadSquared. The company has so far raised around $1 million from a clutch of investors, including technology industry veteran Pradeep K Singh.
Funds Tiger, a lending marketplace for medium and small businesses, was founded in January 2016 by Neelam Dwivedi and Vikram Verma. Dwivedi was one of the co-founders of Proteans Software and Verma was a director at enterprise cloud data management company Informatica.
Bansal’s investments in Funds Tiger and LeadSquared show rising confidence in India’s emerging B2B technology product companies. In an interview with The Economic Times early this year, Bansal had said the next wave of successful startups in India would be from B2B tech space. He had then shared his plans to engage with a diverse range of Indian startups.
Bansal, an alumnus of IIT Delhi, moved to the US soon after his studies and worked at a few startups in Silicon Valley before working on his idea of real-time tracking of app and web page performance. Demonstrating a steely resolve, he built the company despite initial rejection by 20-odd venture capital firms. Bansal led the company as CEO till last year, and then moved to the role of chairman.
Bansal and Dwivedi did not respond to e-mail queries from VCCircle.
The story was updated to include LeadSquared’s funding announcement.
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