INTERVIEW: Here’s why one of India’s most successful VC firms rebranded itself in the middle of a pandemic – Business Insider India


  • SAIF Partners, one of India’s most successful VC firms, is back in a new avatar – Elevation Capital.
  • It also announced the closure of its seventh fund in India for $400 million.
  • SAIF Partners, when it was formed in 2001, stood for Softbank Asia Infrastructure Fund.

SAIF Partners, one of India’s most successful VC firms, is back in a new avatar – Elevation Capital. The firm, which was founded in 2001, has backed several startups in India – seven of which have gone one to become unicorns.

With a new fund of $400 million – its seventh fund in India, Elevation Capital joins the likes of Sequoia, Lightspeed Partners, Chiratae Ventures – all of whom have successfully closed their funds in the middle of the pandemic.

Rationale behind the rebranding

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SAIF Partners, when it was formed, stood for Softbank Asia Infrastructure Fund. Even though SoftBank quit as an LP (Limited Partner) back in 2004, the firm had continued with the same branding.

“We felt that the name SAIF, while well recognized, didn’t communicate what we stand for to our partners and founders. While the rebranding has been a thought over the years, and (with) a new fund raise in the offing, we thought that the time was prime to think about a new name that echoes our investment ethos better,” said Deepak Gaur, Managing Director.

Some of its big investments so far

Paytm MakeMyTrip Justdial FirstCry Swiggy
Unacademy Meesho NoBroker Urban Company Sharechat

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Total Assets Under Management Over $2 billion until Fund VII

New brand, new fund, same investment thesis

The new brand Elevation Capital, Gaur added, reflects their investment ethos and commitment to the founders who help redefine their future.

Elevation Capital’s seventh fund will continue to work on the same investment philosophy, where the partners will invest in early-stage companies. “We will continue to focus on the Seed/Series A stage. As for the sectors, we will continue to invest across consumer internet (including e-commerce, edtech, gaming, content), consumer brands, global SaaS and financial services,” said Mayank Khanduja, Managing Director.
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Elevation Capital partners who will make the call for investments

Ravi Adusumalli Deepak Gaur Mayank Khanduja Mridul Arora Mukul Arora Vivek Mathur

While each partner has a target of two investments per year, the firm doesn’t have a set goal for the seventh fund. “We have a long-term orientated approach with our funds and portfolio companies and we are selective in the investments that we make, so that we can do justice to the relationship we have with the founders. We don’t have any target number of investments in a year,” said Khanduja.

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