It was a year of consolidation, as venture capital (VC) firms focused on portfolio management and slowed down the pace of investments in India. But 2013 also witnessed some mega deals in the industry (read Flipkart) and a landmark multi-bagger exit for a group of VCs (including backers of redBus).
In short, Kalaari Capital joined the list of most active venture capital investors in 2013. Here is a look at the most active VC firms of the year, based on preliminary information collated by VCCEdge, the data research platform of VCCircle.
Blume Ventures – 19 deals
Seed-stage fund Blume Ventures has been the most aggressive early stage investor since 2011, leading the charts consistently. Founded in 2010 with a corpus of Rs 100 crore for the maiden fund, its investments are relatively smaller as compared to other funds on the list but it has been consistently closing new deals.
Some of the companies it invested this year include research platform Infollion, colour theme-focused e-commerce website Paletly, mobile consumer analytics provider Voxapp and location-based mobile services player NowFloats. Other investments include event ticketing and discovery platform Explara and online personal care and beauty products platform Purplle.com.
Blume also saw its maiden exit in 2013 when Mumbai-based Spunk Media Pvt Ltd, which runs the online mobile billing aggregator Qubecell, was acquired by San Fransisco-based mobile payments company Boku.
Nexus Venture Partners – 12
Year 2013 has been an interesting year for Nexus Venture Partners, with several of its portfolio companies seeing large follow-on rounds from other investors. Of the dozen deals closed during the year, more than half were follow on rounds of funding in which Nexus Venture Partners also participated.
It invested in Gurgaon-based logistics company SSN Logistics Pvt Ltd, which runs the web platform Delhivery.com; realty portal Housing.co.in, started by a group of IIT Bombay students and
California-based cloud startup Armor Inc, among others.
Some of Nexus’ existing portfolio companies – Snapdeal, Eka Software and Druva Software – also raised large follow on rounds of funding. Web giant Yahoo Inc acquired Astrid, a task and to-do list mobile app backed by Nexus Venture Partners.
Accel Partners – 11
Even as the valuation of its portfolio company Flipkart.com continues to surge (in latest deal $1.6 billion), Accel maintained its faith in other existing e-commerce portfolio companies besides betting on other sectors.
Some of the new companies backed by Accel during the year include Portea Medical, a provider of in-home healthcare services promoted by serial entrepreneur K Ganesh; biotechnology company Theramyt Novobiologics; social media content aggregator tool Eventifier and ScaleArc Inc, which is engaged in designing and development of database infrastructure software.
Kalaari Capital – 11
Kalaari Capital, earlier known as IndoUS Venture Partners, is a new entrant to the top VC firms’ list this year. The firm raised a new $150 million fund last year and has been busy deploying that corpus. It invested in The Label Corp Pvt. Ltd, which owns and operates online portal apparel and accessories thelabelcorp.com; software company Robosoft Technologies and bakery chain Ovenfresh among others.
Inventus Capital Partners – 10
For Inventus Capital, 2013 was an extremely busy year as it closed its second venture fund raising over $100 million and half a dozen new investments. Besides, Inventus saw a mega exit in its portfolio as online bus ticketing firm Redbus was acquired by South African media conglomerate Naspers’ Indian arm ibiboGroup for $125 million.
Inventus closed six new deals and four follow-on rounds during the year. One of its largest deals was leading $5 million round in online insurance policy aggregator eTechAces Marketing and Consulting Pvt Ltd, which runs the site PolicyBazaar. It also invested in eDreams Edusoft Pvt Ltd, a Bangalore-based technology product startup focused on the education industry; Silicon Valley-based Espresso Logic Inc, which offers database backend services for mobile and web developers, and Bangalore-based Unbxd Inc, which provides a product recommendation platform for e-commerce companies.
Sequoia Capital – 9
Sequoia Capital has been a permanent fixture among the most prolific VC firms in the country and this year was no different. It maintained its focus on consumer internet and other technology companies and also clocked several exits.
The firm invested in Reach Process Outsourcing, which is involved in accounting services through online software; data centre automation platform Idea Device; e-commerce firm Gharpay; Girnar Software, which owns portals like CarDekho and BikeDekho and online restaurant directory Zomato.
Its portfolio companies – offshore software R&D services GlobalLogic and payment services provider Prizm – were acquired in strategic deals which gave it multi-bagger exits. Year 2013 also saw successful public market debut of classifieds firm JustDial, one of Sequoia’s largest investments in India, setting the stage for another mega exit.
Tiger Global – 8
Hedge fund major Tiger Global Management, which has been one of the most aggressive investors in the Indian e-commerce space, spent the year re-investing in its existing portfolio in India. It participated in new rounds of funding for online apparel retailer Zovi, online cab rental service Olacabs, Indian travel community HolidayIQ.com, jewellery etailer Caratlane.com and online
baby products firm babyoye.com. It also participated in the $360 million funding round of
Flipkart.com, India’s largest etailer and one of its biggest success stories to date.
IDG Ventures – 8
IDG Ventures, which is currently raising its second Indian-focused venture capital fund, is a new entrant to the list of most active VC firms. The firm had a fair mix of fresh investment and follow-on rounds for existing portfolio companies.
It participated in new rounds of funding for biotechnology firm Theramyt Novobiologics; Unbxd Software, which provides search and analytics to e-commerce sites and real time financial information
provider Heckyl Technologies Pvt. Ltd. IDG also invested in follow-on round online lingerie portal Zivame; mobile advertising firm Vserv Digital Services; mobile entertainment firm Apalya and risk management firm Aujas.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)