Lightspeed raises $275 million fund for India

Lightspeed raises $275 million fund for India

Lightspeed India Partners on Tuesday introduced it has closed $275 million from LPs for its third fund as the highest American enterprise agency appears to ramp up its investments on this planet’s second-largest web market.

The new fund, its largest for India, will allow Lightspeed India Partners to make early stage bets on greater than two dozen startups within the area, mentioned Hemant Mohapatra, a associate on the agency, in an interview with TechCrunch.

The announcement comes because the agency, which started investing in India in 2007, has made two high-profile partial exits up to now yr from budget-lodging startup Oyo and edtech large Byju’s that collectively delivered returns of greater than $900 million.

Some of its different main bets together with backing business-to-business market Udaan, which was valued at greater than $2.75 billion final yr, native social media platform ShareChat, which is in superior phases of discussions to lift capital at greater than $1 billion valuation, and SaaS startups DarwinBox, Yellow Messenger, and OkCredit.

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The agency, which has six companions within the area, closed its first devoted fund for India, of $135 million, in 2015. In 2018, it closed its second fund for the area, which was $175 million in dimension. But the enterprise agency has invested greater than $750 million so far.

The Indian arm, which usually invests at early phases of a startup, continues to work with its international mothership for writing greater checks to assist some portfolio startups at later phases. (More than 80% of its investments have been dedicated to companies at Seed or Series A phases in India.)

“That’s one of many strongest factors of differentiation we have now. There should not many enterprise companies which have such a worldwide presence. Our synergy with the worldwide fund will proceed,” mentioned Mohapatra. (Lightspeed additionally has an enormous presence in China. Last yr, its China arm introduced a $560 million fund.)

Lightspeed companions in India. From left: Bejul Somaia, Akshay Bhushan, Harsha Kumar, Dev Khare, Vaibhav Agrawal, and Hemant Mohapatra. (Photo credit score: Lightspeed)

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Lightspeed, which earlier this yr closed a $four billion fund globally, is likely one of the handful of American enterprise companies that aggressively scouts for offers in India. Sequoia, its international peer, introduced two enterprise funds, of $1.35 billion in dimension, final month for India and Southeast Asia. 11 of its early-stage bets have grown to develop into unicorns within the final 14 years on this area.

Mohapatra mentioned the Indian startup ecosystem has matured in recent times, demonstrating high-scale development and delivering huge outcomes. It’s additionally seeing extra exits than ever earlier than. Earlier this month, Byju’s acquired WhiteHat Jr., an 18-month-old startup that teaches coding to kids, for $300 million in an all-cash deal.

Indian startups raised greater than $14.5 billion final yr — a document for the area people. The coronavirus has decelerated the funding spree in India, like in another market.

Mohapatra mentioned a fraction of the agency’s portfolio startups has been disrupted by the virus, however famous that the majority startups are marching forward unfazed and a few have accelerated in latest months.

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“Lightspeed believes that is when one of the best entrepreneurs and firms of the long run will emerge. Strong founders are using the tailwinds of India’s digital ecosystem development to construct out a brand new future and Lightspeed is strongly dedicated to backing these founders,” the agency mentioned in an announcement.


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