IndoUS Venture Partners, a venture capital firm which has backed companies like Snapdeal.com and Via, has raised up to $97.5 million for IndoUS Venture Partners II, LLC, according to a form D filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
The Bangalore-based venture firm, which raised $189 million for its debut fund, is targeting $150 million for the current offering, according to the filing made on Tuesday. And the firm has managed to raise $97.5 million after being open for subscriptions only for two weeks. According to the filing, the capital has been raised from 13 investors.
IndoUS Venture Partners II, LLC has three promoters – Vani Kola, Kumar Shiralagi and Rajesh Raju. However, Vinod Dham, who had led the first fund and is well-known for developing Intel’s Pentium microprocessor, will not be involved with the new fund. But he will continue to work with existing portfolio companies (from Fund I) as they mature. While Kola and Shiralagi were also involved with the first fund, Raju has recently joined IndoUS after working as an investment director at Peepul Capital for five years.
When contacted about the fundraising, Vani Kola, managing director of IndoUS Venture Partners replied in an e-mail, "Your question below is something we cannot comment on right now since it is speculative. We are happy to discuss with you the actual facts at a future date when we are ready.”
IndoUS Venture Partners, which was earlier called NEA IndoUS Venture Partners, raised its debut fund in July 2007 after initially garnering $105 million in 2006. Although Dham and Kola started the company, they soon roped in Shiralagi, who was heading Intel Capital India as a partner.
The fund was raised in partnership with US-based New Enterprise Associates (NEA), which had $11 billion in committed capital and also came board as the sponsor. But the venture firm changed its name to IndoUS Venture Partners after NEA established a direct presence in India around three years ago.
Till date, the venture firm has made more than two dozen investments from its first fund and its portfolio companies seem to vary widely – ranging from mobile VAS to e-commerce to software and from clean-tech to specialised retail. In an earlier interview with Mint, Dham had said that the new fund would focus on Indian start-ups (as against both India and US-based companies looking for first fund) and will look at series A and series B rounds.
This has reflected in some of its recent investments, especially since 2009, which have been either first-round or second-round deals. These include investments in Idenizen Smartware, Gradatim, VenSat Tech Services, Visionary RCM Infotech India, Monarch Innovative Technologies, Vahan Motors, Apalya Technologies and Onward Mobility Solutions.
Besides, it is also the first institutional investors in companies like Snapdeal.com and Via (earlier FlightRaja), which have become some of the largest players in their respective domains.
Earlier this year, IndoUS Venture also exited pharma retail chain MedPlus Health Services in a secondary deal in which it reportedly made a 4x return.
Limited partners (LPs) are increasingly looking at venture firms in India as they seek differentiated exposure to general partners (GPs) in the country and as the early-stage ecosystem matures. Over the past two years, venture capital investments in Indian start-ups have started showing returns and some firms have also shown the ability to become significant players at a global stage. Bangalore-based mobile ad network InMobi, most of whose revenues come from developed markets outside India, has recently raised $200 million from SoftBank Corp at a valuation rumoured to be around $1 billion.
Some profitable exits since 2010 include those of InMobi (Mumbai Angels), Mango Technologies (Ojas Venture Partners), Metahelix (Nadathur Holdings), Carwale (Seedfund) and MakeMyTrip (SAIF Partners).
This has also started to convert into commitments as earlier this year, Seedfund closed its second fund with a total investment corpus of $54 million. More recently, rural India and bottom-of-the-pyramid-focused early-stage investor Aavishkaar made a first close of its second fund at $62 million.
New players are also joining this asset class. Nirvana Venture Advisors is raising a $75 million venture fund anchored by the Patni family and roped in former eBay India country manager Rajan Mehra as its managing director in June this year. Kae Capital, an early-stage fund floated by Sasha Mirchandani (former India head of the US-based VC firm BlueRun Ventures), is also looking to raise $25 million. Then there are other players like Blume Ventures and IncuCapital in the seed and early-stage investment fields.