Sequoia, Lightspeed float new India-dedicated funds
Photo Credit: VCCircle

Global venture capital firms Sequoia and Lightspeed, which have been investing in India for over a decade, have floated their new country-dedicated funds.

Sequoia has floated its seventh India fund, Sequoia Capital India Venture VII Ltd, and Lightspeed has launched its third India vehicle, Lightspeed India Partners III, LLC, regulatory filings show.

Sequoia has also floated its India-focused growth fund, Sequoia Capital India Growth Fund III Ltd.

The filings didn’t disclose information related to the fund size and the timeline by which they intend to close the funds.

Sequoia and Lightspeed didn’t respond to email queries seeking details on the new funds.

Lightspeed India Fund

Last month, VCCircle had reported that Lightspeed’s third India fund had received commitment from the US-based Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF). The pension fund had invested in Lightspeed India’s second fund as well.

Lightspeed’s third India fund is raising $250-300 million, The Times of India had reported earlier this year.

The venture capital firm had launched its first India-dedicated fund of $135 million in 2015. In 2018, it had added another $175 million with its second India-focussed investment vehicle.

Typically an early-stage investor, Lightspeed continues to make late-stage investments from its global fund.

In April, Lightspeed said it raised over $4 billion (Rs 30,571.60 crore) across three funds to invest in early- and growth-stage startups globally.

It’s been a dozen years since Lightspeed first started investing in India, with online education company TutorVista Global Pvt. Ltd becoming its first local portfolio firm. The Silicon Valley-based firm initially took money out of its global funds before doubling down and launching country-specific investment vehicles.

Lightspeed was one of the early investors in branded budget hotels marketplace Oyo. Its portfolio companies include ed-tech firm Byju’s, B2B marketplace Udaan, social networking platform ShareChat and food-tech firm FreshMenu.

In terms of exits, Lightspeed made a multi-bagger from its partial exit from Oyo.

It has made eight other exits so far, according to VCCEdge, the research arm of Mosaic Digital. They include stake sales in education firm TutorVista, Indian Energy Exchange—the country’s first exchange for trading in electricity and renewable energy certificates—and digital payments company ItzCash.

Sequoia Capital India

The VC firm has been the most active investor in India. It had closed its sixth fund at $695 million to invest in early- and growth-stage companies in the country and Southeast Asia.

Sequoia was looking to raise $1.25 billion for its seventh fund, according to The Times of India earlier this year.

The VC firm has invested in more than 130 startups in India including unicorns such as Ola, MuSigma and Zomato, though it was not an early investor in any of them and came in at the growth stage.

Sequoia has also invested at the very early stages in many startups, including Citrus, Faasos, FreeCharge, Grofers, Mobikwik, Pine Labs and Practo. This is another area where it intended to double down to help companies’ journey from idea to the initial public offering stage and beyond. Last year, Sequoia launched its accelerator programme Surge and closed its debut seed fund to sharpen its focus on early-stage bets.

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