Lightspeed raises second India-dedicated venture capital fund


Venture capital firm Lightspeed India Partners has raised its second fund of $175 million (Rs 1,200 crore), two media reports said, citing partners Bejul Somaia and Dev Khare.

The new fund takes the total that the Indian arm of the US-based Lightspeed Venture Partners has mobilised to $310 million; it had mopped up $135 million (Rs 875 crore) in its maiden India-dedicated fund, which is based out of Mauritius, in 2015.

Lightspeed has been making local and cross-border investments since 2004. Last year, the firm opened an office in Bangalore, its second in India after New Delhi.

An email sent to Lightspeed India Partners did not elicit an immediate response.

Lightspeed joins VC firms such as Saama Capital, SAIF Partners, Sequoia Capital, Accel Partners and IDG Ventures India that have either raised or are raising new funds.

The Limited Partners, or investors, for Lightspeed’s new fund come from the US and East Asia, Khare told the Mint and The Economic Times newspapers.

The strategy for the new fund will be similar to the debut fund but the typical investment size is likely to go up, Khare said.

The second fund expects to invest in 25-30 companies mainly at the early-stage levels and make a few opportunistic deals at the Series B and C stages.

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.

The VC firm’s recent investments include Brattle Foods, the food logistics venture which was acquired by a Future Group firm.
In May, the VC firm appointed former Andreessen Horowitz executive Hemant Mohapatra as a partner to join its India office.

VC fundraising
Limited Partners in private equity and venture capital firms have been upbeat on India, and that has translated into successful fundraises by a string of major investment firms.

The fundraising is happening at a time when the total dry power, or investible money, available to be poured in through private equity, venture capital and hedge funds crossed Rs 1 lakh crore ($15 billion) as of 31 March 2018.

In April, Saama Capital raised $100 million (Rs 650 crore) for its fourth fund – Saama Capital IV Ltd, just a little over a year after making the final close of its third fund in January last year.

In July last year, SAIF Advisors Pvt. Ltd raised $350 million (Rs 2,247 crore) for its sixth fund, SAIF Partners India VI Ltd. The new fund is SAIF Partners’ third India-focussed vehicle, and its size is almost the same as its previous two India funds.

Last year, IDG Ventures India marked the final close of its third fund, meeting its target corpus of $200 million (around Rs 1,332 crore).

In December 2016, Accel Partners had raised $450 million for its fifth fund to make seed and early-stage investments in Indian startups.

Last month, global venture capital firm Sequoia Capital formally kicked off the process of raising money for its sixth India-dedicated fund.

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Source: VC Circle

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