Sameer Nath, co-founder of Iron Pillar, has floated his own mid-stage focused investment firm TrueScale Capital.
The development comes even as Iron Pillar itself is raising its second fund and has already started making investments from the fund. Iron Pillar was founded in 2015 by former Morgan Creek executive Anand Prasanna. Its founding team, apart from Prasanna and Nath, included Mohanjit Jolly, Harish Hulyalkar, Ashok Ananthakrishnan and Ashish Shah.
TrueScale Capital said in a statement that its team includes the entire Iron Pillar India Fund I team based in Mumbai: Sanjna Tulsiani (associate), Sameer Sheth (CFO) and Samay Kala (financial controller). Karan Ahuja joins the team as principal and will be based in Bangalore.
It did not disclose the target corpus of the firm’s upcoming fund.
Nath, managing partner, TrueScale Capital, said this was the right time to launch his own investment firm considering that Iron Pillar India Fund I is almost fully deployed. He will remain managing partner of Iron Pillar India Fund I.
TrueScale Capital, like Iron Pillar, will invest in Series B and C stages in consumer and enterprise technology companies. Mid-stage venture investors in India are rather scarce. The other prominent venture capital investors which focus on Series B and C investments are Bertelsmann and Sistema Asia Fund.
The statement noted that Series B/C raises in India have been increasing steadily, from $454 million in 2016 to $1 billion in 2020, representing a CAGR of 22%.
Nath has 22 years of experience in venture investing. Prior to co-founding Iron Pillar, he was a managing director and senior investment banker at Citigroup
In the past, top executives at other venture capital firms have also left to start their own investment firms.
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.
In 2018, former senior executives at Sequoia Capital joined hands to float venture capital firm A91 Partners. Later, Kaushik Anand, the India head of CapitalG, the growth equity fund floated by Google parent Alphabet Inc, also quit to join A91 Partners .
In 2017, Manish Kheterpal, formerly India head of private equity firm Providence Equity Partners, launched venture capital firm WaterBridge Ventures along with his Actis colleague Ashish Jain, and DEG's Ravi Kaushik.