Temasek comes as anchor LP in Naukri parent Info Edge\'s debut VC fund
Photo Credit: VCCircle

Info Edge (India) Ltd, which owns and operates portals such as job site Naukri.com, has onboarded Singapore state investment firm Temasek Holdings as an anchor for its debut venture fund.

Info Edge said in a stock market disclosure that, as part of the anchor onboarding process, Temasek has commited Rs 375 crore (around $51 million) to Info Edge Venture Fund that seeks to raise Rs 750 crore. That’s 50% of the target corpus.

Temasek will make the investment through its indirect wholly-owned subsidiary MacRitchie Investments Pte. Ltd, it added.

Info Edge had floated its debut 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.

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

Adding up all the commitments made to the fund so far, the vehicle seems to be only Rs 25 crore behind its target corpus of Rs 750 crore.

The fund's investments include 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 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.

The state investment firm typically deploys about $1 billion annually in India. This year has been no different, despite the outbreak of the global COVID-19 pandemic.  

In September, India managing director R Venkatesh and deputy India head Promeet Ghosh told VCCircle that the state investment firm has deployed more than $1 billion in India over the past six months, with a big chunk going to technology companies. Temasek had also committed significant capital to portfolio companies in recent months to ride out the pandemic. 

The state investment firm's total portfolio in India exceeds $10 billion in assets under management. In addition, Temasek has invested via its platforms. For instance, it floated a $500 million renewable energy platform in January.  

The state investment firm also backs venture funds such as Vertex Ventures and InnoVen Capital that invest in Indian startups.

Info Edge, which started Naukri.com in 1997, operates a slew of 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 also has a stake in online insurance aggregator PolicyBazaar, another unicorn with a billion-dollar valuation. It has also invested in edtech 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 edtech platform Meritnation, its third-costliest investment in external portfolio after PolicyBazaar and Zomato.

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