Technology

Bessemer Venture Partners raises $220 million India-focused fund


Bessemer Venture Partners, one of the oldest early-stage investors in the region, has for the first time raised a dedicated India-focused fund of $220 million.

The company first started investing in India 15 years back.

The change in strategy comes amidst
unprecedented flow of liquidity into the Indian new age economy companies this year by risk investors who are taking bigger and bolder bets on the companies here. “The fund will focus primarily on early-stage investments, backing companies through seed to growth-stage rounds,” senior company officials told ET.

The fund, being raised entirely from global investors, will focus on companies across sectors such as consumer internet and cloud software, including marketplaces, digital health, social commerce, vertical and global software-as-a-service.

Until now the firm was investing in India out of their global pool of capital and has so far backed PharmEasy, BigBasket, Swiggy, Urban Company and Perfios.

“This India dedicated fund will look at taking new bets and we will continue to support our existing portfolio companies from the global fund that we have so far been investing from,” said Vishal Gupta, partner and managing director at the Bengaluru office of Bessemer Venture Partners.

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According to Gupta, the firm has always had a global investment approach and India has long been a key geography. “This new capital allows us to go deeper in the market. The dedicated fund exemplifies our confidence in the massive growth opportunities within India,” he said. “We are excited to not only continue supporting the many companies with whom we already partner, but to expand our investments to even more innovative entrepreneurs who are shaping the future.”

“As we look at where innovation is stemming worldwide, it’s clear that the India startup ecosystem is more vibrant than ever,” said Bob Goodman, partner in Bessemer’s New York office. “We see a sizable market of India-based companies that will disrupt global markets.”

With the new fund, the firm has also appointed Nithin Kaimal as chief operating officer of Bessemer’s Bengaluru office, where he’ll oversee operations, portfolio services and fund governance. Kaimal joins Bessemer from VixCap, an investment management firm he founded and led.

“India represents a trillion-dollar digital opportunity across consumer internet and SaaS as we predict 500 million more people will engage and transact online in the next ten years,” said Anant Vidur Puri, partner at Bessemer Venture Partners. “Through this new fund, we will continue to partner with the best entrepreneurs who are looking to build for this opportunity within India and beyond.”

Today, it has five companies within its portfolio valued at more than $1 billion including Livspace and MyGlamm.

The firm has realised seven IPOs within India including Home First Finance, IEX and Matrimony.com.

Bessemer’s global portfolio includes Pinterest, Shopify, Twilio, Yelp, LinkedIn, PagerDuty, DocuSign, Wix, Fiverr and Toast and has $9 billion of capital under management.

Funds such as A91 Partners, Stellaris, Chiratae, Blume among others have raised India focused funds in the recent past, larger than their previous funds to back growing opportunities coming out of the Indian new age economy.

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