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Info Edge debut VC fund eyes half of targeted corpus from external LPs
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Info Edge (India) Ltd, which owns and operates portals such as job site Naukri.com, aims to raise half of the targeted corpus of its debut fund launched earlier this year from external investors.

The Noida-based company said in a stock-exchange filing that it proposes to raise Rs 750 crore (around $100 million) for Info Edge Venture Fund.

The company is in exploratory talks to raise $50 million from Limited Partners (LPs) outside Info Edge, it added.

Info Edge had floated the venture fund earlier in January. At that time, it had said it will invest around Rs 100 crore ($14 million) in the fund, which will be sponsored through its wholly-owned unit Smartweb Internet Services Ltd.

However, at that time, it had not disclosed the target corpus and had not laid out plans to bring in an external LP.

Info Edge, in the latest filing, said it and the wholly-owned subsidiary have already committed Rs 350 crore to the fund and has disbursed Rs 150 crore out of it.

The fund has made four investments so far: DotPe, a payments company set up by PayU India co-founder; Qyuki, a venture co-founded by music composer AR Rahman; Fanclash, an e-sports community engagement platform; and Truemeds, a telehealth platform.

Info Edge added that it has a pipeline of non-binding signed term sheets for around Rs 85 crore.

Info Edge Venture Fund is registered with the capital markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) as a Category-II fund, which includes private equity and debt funds.

The fund will invest in companies that provide technology to create, market and distribute innovative products and services that benefit consumers at large, the company had said.

Info Edge, which started Naukri.com in 1997, also operates a slew of its internet properties, including real estate portal 99acres.com, matrimonial website Jeevansathi and education services portal Shiksha.

The company also actively invests in tech startups. The new fund underlines the structured manner in which Info Edge aims to make investments, although it will also continue to make direct bets.

Info Edge’s showpiece investment is in food delivery and restaurant search platform Zomato, which earlier this year acquired Uber Technologies Inc's food delivery business, Uber Eats, in India. Info Edge will still hold a 22.71% stake in Zomato after the deal closes.

It also has a stake in online insurance aggregator PolicyBazaar, another unicorn with a billion-dollar valuation. It has also invested in ed-tech venture NoPaperForms and business-to-business e-commerce platform ShopKirana.

However, it hasn't been all rosy for Info Edge as venture investments come with a lot of risks. Earlier this year, VCCircle reported that Info Edge took a haircut by exiting ed-tech platform Meritnation, its third-costliest investment in its external portfolio after PolicyBazaar and Zomato.

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