Former Sequoia execs’ VC firm A91 Partners exceeds target corpus for debut fund

A91 Partners, a venture capital firm floated last year by former Sequoia Capital executives, has closed its debut fund.

The fund was closed at $351 million (Rs 2,403 crore), the firm tweeted. “We are excited about the opportunity ahead of us and look forward to partnering with founders building enduring businesses for tomorrow’s India,” it said.

The fund’s target corpus was pegged around $250-300 million in March when International Finance Corporation (IFC) proposed to come in as a Limited Partner, or investor, with a commitment of $25 million.

A91 Partners was floated last year by VT Bharadwaj, Gautam Mago and Abhay Pandey. The trio had left Sequoia Capital between June 2017 and August 2018. In November last, Kaushik Anand quit as the India head of CapitalG to join A91 Partners.

The fund aims to invest in 10 to 15 companies in the early growth or late venture-capital stage of development. It will focus on sectors such as consumer goods and services, healthcare, financial services and technology.

The fund has invested in beverage brand Paper Boat, owned by Hector Beverages Pvt. Ltd, and make-up brand Sugar Cosmetics.  

In May, The Economic Times had said that the fund's LPs include Asia Alternatives, Adams Street and Swiss firm LGT Capital Partners. Its Indian investors include insurance companies and family offices.

A91 Partners is among a bunch of VC firms floated by former executives at established investment businesses.

In 2014, homegrown venture capital firm Helion Venture Partners’ co-founder Kanwaljit Singh quit and later launched his own early-stage venture fund Fireside Ventures.

In late 2015, three Helion partners – Rahul Chowdhri, Ritesh Banglani and Alok Goyal – left the firm. They launched their own venture fund called Stellaris Ventures in 2016.

Mukul Singhal and Rohit Jain, two principals at SAIF Partners, left the multi-state investment firm in January 2016 to start early-stage firm Pravega Ventures. The same year, Matrix Partners co-founder Rishi Navani quit the firm to float investment firm Epiq Capital. IDG Ventures India’s co-founder Manik Arora also moved out of the venture capital firm in 2015.

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