Paytm backer SAIF Partners aims at larger corpus for new India fund
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Venture capital and growth-equity investment firm SAIF Partners, which backs companies such as Paytm, Swiggy and ShareChat, has launched a process to raise a new India-dedicated fund.

SAIF Partners aims to raise $400 million (around Rs 2,925 crore) for the fund SAIF Partners India VII Ltd, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). It did not provide further details.

The new fund is the firm’s fourth India-focussed vehicle, and its size is bigger than its previous India funds.

The investment firm had last raised $350 million for its third India fund in July 2017. That fund was almost the same size as its previous funds.

An email sent to SAIF Partners seeking comment on the new fund’s investment strategy didn’t elicit a response till the time of filing this article.

The VC firm chases investments in sectors such as consumer products and services, technology, media, education, telecom, financial services, healthcare, travel and tourism, and manufacturing. It typically invests between $2 million and $75 million in one or more rounds in its portfolio companies.

It had continued to make seed, Series A and growth-stage investments from its previous fund. SAIF Partners has also built an active public equities portfolio, which includes chemicals company Atul Ltd, luxury watch retailer and components maker KDDL Ltd and automotive lighting and signalling equipment maker Fiem Industries Ltd.

In September, SAIF Partners beefed up its management deck when it elevated Mayank Khanduja to managing director from the role of a principal.

While SAIF Partners has remained one of the most active startup investors in India, it has trailed its peers such as Sequoia Capital, Accel and Nexus Venture Partners.

Its recent deals include an investment in a healthy food startup and in a luggage maker in August. In July, VCCircle reported that SAIF Partners invested in a Delhi-based healthtech firm.

A slew of venture capital firms have announced fundraising milestones or have hit the road to raise new funds this year despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Last month, Lightspeed India Partners raised $275 million for its new fund. In July, Sequoia Capital raised a record corpus for India and Southeast Asia investments.

Mumbai-based VC firm Equanimity Investments marked the final close of its debut fund with an oversubscription, VCCircle reported last month.

In May, VCCircle reported that domestic early-stage VC firm Stellaris Venture Partners had hit the road to raise a new fund to raise more capital than its debut investment vehicle. Sixth Sense Ventures is also floating its third consumer-focused fund.

Also in May, venture capital firm Iron Pillar, which provides growth capital to mid-stage technology companies in India, said it had topped up its first fund with $45 million.

A few VC firms such as Blume Ventures and Unicorn India Ventures had also hit fundraising milestones before the pandemic gripped India. Earlier this year, co-founders of Parampara Capital also floated a second fund that seeks to raise $100 million.

In 2019, around a dozen venture capital firms including Accel, A91 Partners and Lightbox marked the final close of their funds.

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