Venture capital firm Norwest Venture Partners has picked a stake of less than 5% in India's largest mobile value added services firm OnMobile. The stake has been acquired through open market block deals, Norwest Managing Director Sohil Chand told VCCircle. The stake could

have been bought for for anywhere between Rs 65-80 crore as per the stock price of OnMobile.

Norwest hired Chand from Goldman Sachs late last year to focus on growth capital, PIPEs, and late stage investing in the country. "We will definitely look more heavily at growth equity opportunities in a variety of sectors," said Promod Haque, Managing Partner at Norwest, in an interview to VCCircle earlier this year.

OnMobile, in which Infosys has a stake, was founded in 2000 by former private equity executive Arvind Rao and was listed in early 2008. The company also has several acquisitions under its belt. It has raised several rounds of funding from investors which include Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs and Polygon Investment Partners.

With stock markets hitting their lows with global meltdown, investors can look at value picks in the market. Many private equity and venture capital investors are actively looking to acquire stakes in public companies through the open market route.

"We look at both private and public companies available and take a call on the one that has valuation which is more compelling," said Chand. Also valuations in public space seem to be more attractive as compared to private space right now.

Norwest is looking at more opportunities in the listed space in a number of sectors. It is looking at bigger companies who are leaders in their space. "My philosophy is to take smaller stakes in bigger companies," adds Chand.


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