Kalaari Capital to raise $275M through two fund vehicles to invest in Indian startups

Kalaari Capital, an early-stage tech-focused VC fund, is raising $275 million through two new fund vehicles, according to a filing with US markets regulator, Securities and Exchange Commission.

The VC firm is raising a $200 million VC fund—Kalaari Capital Partners III—and the rest $75 million through Kalaari Capital Partners Opportunity Fund, the company disclosed last week. It is yet to make a first close for the new funds.

An email send to Vani Kola, MD of Kalaari Capital, did not elicit any response till the time of filing this article.

Currently, the VC firm provides capital to early stage companies operating in India and US across sectors like technology, cleantech, healthcare, education, pharma, food and beverages, technology enable services, media and entertainment and retail sectors. It typically invests between $1 million and $5 million in its portfolio companies.

Since January this year, Kalaari Capital has invested in around eight companies, including follow-on-investments in existing portfolio firms, according to VCCEdge, the data research platform of VCCircle.

These companies include 99Games Online Pvt Ltd (games developer), Robosoft Technologies Pvt Ltd (mobile app developer), Urban Ladder Home Decor Solutions Pvt Ltd (online furniture retail firm), AppsDaily Solutions Pvt Ltd (mobile application developer), JoGuru Inc (online trip planner), Simplilearn Solutions Pvt Ltd (online education provider), Codigami Technologies Pvt Ltd (social media management firm) and Cryptopy Technologies Pvt Ltd (online real estate firm).

Last year, it had invested in over a dozen companies.

Kalaari Capital was formed in 2012 by founders of Indo US Venture Partners (IUVP). It raised an investment fund worth $150 million for the Indian market the same year. The bulk of the money came from limited partners out of North America.

Under the new entity, the founders had disassociated themselves from the partnership with US-based New Enterprise Associates (NEA). NEA was a partner in the first fund (which was called NEA IndoUS Venture Partners) as it did not have a direct presence in India, but has since set up offices in the country.

Earlier this year, former chairman of Tata Sons and currently chairman emeritus, Ratan Tata joined as an advisor of the venture capital firm for its portfolio companies. Tata is also a personal investor in a bunch of portfolio firms of Kalaari Capital such as Snapdeal and Urban Ladder.

A bunch of tech-focused VC funds has raised or is on the road to raise money. Last year, Sequoia Capital raised $530 million through an India-focused fund. Mayfield India II raised $108 million for its second fund. In the same year, Lighthouse raised $125 million for its India 2020 Fund II. Recently, SAIF Partners raised $350 million and Accel Partners raised $305 million for its fourth fund.

Apart from these, Blume Ventures, Nexus Venture Partners and others are on the road to raise new funds.

Two of the three co-founders of Seedfund—Praveen Gandhi and Bharati Jacob—are splitting out to raise a $60 million consumer internet-focused fund.

Then there are others who are also getting into the early-stage investment bandwagon. Cricekter Yuvraj Singh has just floated a $10 million seed-stage fund YouWeCan to back internet startups. He is also looking to raise another $50 million from friends and others to add to the investible corpus.

IT industry veterans TV Mohandas Pai, V Balakrishnan, former Wipro joint CEO Girish Paranjpe and former iFlex Solutions CEO Deepak Ghaisas among others raised their maiden fund under Exfinity Venture Partners.

Large technology firms have made independent allocations for technology startups in India. Infosys has allocated $500 million and Wipro has set apart $100 million for startup investments. These funds are not exclusively focused on Indian ventures, though.

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