SAIF Partners rebrands as it marks final close of new fund, loses MD

By Joseph Rai

  • 20 Oct 2020

Venture capital and growth-equity investment firm SAIF Partners, which backs companies such as Paytm, Swiggy and ShareChat, said Tuesday it has marked the final close of its new fund and has rebranded itself as Elevation Capital.

Elevation Capital made the final close of its new fund – SAIF Partners India VII Ltd – at the targeted $400 million (Rs 2930 crore), it said in a blog post.

The investment firm had launched the process to raise a new India-dedicated fund earlier this month. The new fund is the firm’s fourth India-focussed vehicle, and its size is bigger than its previous India funds.

Ravi Adusumalli, managing partner at Elevation Capital, said the new brand reflects the firm’s investment ethos and re-emphasises its commitment to entrepreneurs.

Meanwhile, Alok Goel, a managing director at the investment firm since 2015, tweeted that he is leaving to pursue an independent entrepreneurial journey. Goel, who was earlier the CEO of digital wallet FreeCharge, added that he will remain a partner for the investment firm’s previous funds.

This isn’t the first instance of a VC firm’s fundraising milestone coinciding with the resignation of a top executive.

In 2018, Sequoia Capital India had announced the close of its sixth fund at $695 million alongside the departure of managing director Abhay Pandey.

In 2016, Matrix Partners India had raised $110 million for a new India-dedicated fund even as its co-founder Rishi Navani quit the firm.

Elevation Capital said that besides Adusumalli, the investments from the new fund would be led and managed by its five managing directors – Deepak Gaur, Mayank Khanduja, Mridul Arora, Mukul Arora and Vivek Mathur.

In September, the investment firm had beefed up its management deck when it elevated Khanduja to managing director from the role of a principal.

Elevation Capital 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. Elevation Capital 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.

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

Elevation Capital joins a slew of VC firms in announcing fundraising milestones over the past few months.

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 in July.

Blume Ventures marked the final close of its third fund at $102 million (Rs 715 crore) in February, making it the first homegrown VC firm to cross the milestone of $100 million in a single fund.

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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