Mumbai: American venture capital firm Bessemer Venture Partners, which has been investing in India since 2006, has raised a new dedicated India fund with a body of $ 220 million, the first country-specific fund of its kind ever raised by the company, two senior company executives said in an interaction with Mint.
The new fund comes at a time when the Indian startup ecosystem has undergone a fundamental shift in the wake of the pandemic and Indian startups have raised record capital this year. In 2021 itself, India has seen the creation of 41 new unicorns (startups worth over $ 1 billion) so far.
The fund will focus primarily on early stage investments, in line with Bessemer’s approach of starting with seed and Series A investments and sticking with companies throughout their growth lifecycle with investments at later stages. Bessemer plans to apply its roadmap-based investment approach to deploy new capital across five roadmaps across consumer internet and cloud software, including markets, digital health, social commerce. , vertical and global SaaS, they said.
âWe have always had a global investment approach and India has long been a priority for us. This new capital allows us to go further in the market, while continuing to support our portfolio with the worldwide network and the resources of Bessemer. The dedicated fund illustrates our confidence in the massive growth opportunities in India, âsaid Vishal Gupta, partner and managing director of the company’s Bangalore office. “We are delighted not only to continue to support the many companies we already partner with, but also to expand our investments to even more innovative entrepreneurs who are shaping the future.”
So far, Bessemer has invested nearly $ 700 million in India in more than 50 holding companies, he said.
Besides the dedicated India fund, Bessemer will also continue to support Indian startups through its global capital pools, Gupta added. Bessemer’s tenure allows him to issue checks from $ 1 million to $ 50 million, he said.
Along with his Indian fund, the company also appointed Nithin Kaimal as COO of Bessemer’s Bangalore office, where he will oversee the fund’s operations, portfolio services and governance. He brings nearly 20 years of expertise in private equity, management consulting and startups, and joins Bessemer of VixCap, an investment management firm he founded and managed. Prior to VixCap, Nithin was Senior Director at India Resurgence Fund.
The company is also looking to expand its investment team in India.
âIndia represents a trillion dollar digital opportunity in consumer Internet and SaaS, as we predict that an additional 500 million people will engage and transact online over the next ten years. With this new fund, we will continue to partner with the best entrepreneurs looking to seize this opportunity in India and beyond, âsaid Anant Vidur Puri, Bessemer partner.
Bessemer’s investments in India include startups such as PharmEasy, BigBasket, Swiggy, Urban Company and Perfios. The venture capital firm has registered seven IPOs of its Indian portfolio, including Home First Finance, IEX and Matrimony.com, and today has five companies in its portfolio valued at over $ 1 billion, including Livspace and MyGlamm.
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