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IFC set to back former Sequoia execs’ debut venture capital fund
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International Finance Corporation (IFC) has proposed to come in as a Limited Partner, or investor, in the debut venture capital fund of investment firm A91 Partners.

IFC intends to put $25 million (Rs 177 crore) in A91 Emerging Fund I LLP, the World Bank's private-sector investment arm said in a statement. The target corpus of the fund is pegged at $250-300 million, it added.

IFC has an active limited partner, or LP, portfolio in India where it backs private equity and VC funds focused on India. It also has an active direct private equity-style investment practice in India, and lends to companies as well.

IFC has previously invested as an LP in Indian VC funds such as Chiratae Ventures (formerly IDG Ventures India), Stellaris Venture Partners and Pi Ventures.

A91 Partners was floated last year by former Sequoia Capital executives VT Bharadwaj, Gautam Mago and Abhay Pandey. In November, 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.

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 to launch their own venture fund – Stellaris Ventures—in 2016.

Mukul Singhal and Rohit Jain, two principals at SAIF Partners, left the firm in January 2016 to start an 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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