Lightspeed to raise $115M in India-dedicated VC fund

US-based venture capital firm Lightspeed Venture Partners is raising $115 million (Rs 734 crore) in an India-specific fund, according to a disclosure to the US Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC).

Till now Lightspeed had been investing in the country from its global fund, though it also has country specific funds for China.

In March 2014 it raised $950 million in its tenth global flagship fund. This came two years after it scooped $675 million for its ninth fund. Lightspeed has operations in Silicon Valley besides international hubs Israel, India and China.

It comes in at seed/pre-Series A round and participates in early stage VC rounds as well putting in up to $7-8 million in its portfolio companies in India.

An email query to Lightspeed Venture Partners' India spokesperson for further details on the investment strategy remained unanswered at the time of filing this report.

Lightspeed has invested in around a dozen Indian companies including online market place for ethnic apparel and handicraft Craftsvilla, music streaming service Dhingana (acquired by Rdio in 2014), lifestyle e-tailer Fashionara, Indian Energy Exchange, prepaid cash card company Itz Cash, social commerce platform LimeRoad, financial services and consumer protection platform OneAssist, online tuition service firm TutorVista (acquired by Pearson in 2011).

Since January it has put fresh money into four portfolio firms – Craftsvilla, LimeRoad, Phone Warrior and Oravel- besides adding a new company to the basket as it backed local services marketplace LocalOye, according to VCCEdge, the data research platform of VCCircle.

With an India dedicated investment corpus it could step up its activity in the country.

It joins a bevy of VC firms who have either raised or hit the road to raise their India funds.

Helion Venture Partners, Kalaari Capital, Blume Ventures, Nexus Venture Partners, IDG Ventures are some of those raising their new funds.

Last year, Sequoia Capital raised $530 million through an India-focused fund and recently topped it up with another $210 million to create the single largest pool of VC fund ever for India. Mayfield raised $108 million for its second India fund, Lighthouse raised $125 million for its local fund, SAIF Partners raised $350 million fund and Accel Partners raised $305 million for its fourth India fund.

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