India: VC firm Exfinity Venture plans to raise $200m offshore fund

Venture capital firm Exfinity Venture Partners is planning to raise an off shore fund of up to $200 million to invest in the US technology startups that have an India development presence, said a Business Standard report.

The Bengaluru-based investment firm is looking to invest in startups in the India-US corridor in areas such as cloud, artificial intelligence, virtual reality with a focus on solving business problems.

“We are now looking at an offshore fund worth $150-200 million because with Indian Rupee fund we cannot invest outside India. For any enterprise-technology idea we can only invest up to 25 per cent and it lacks flexibility too. We believe the Indo-US corridor is the best corridor to invest, since a lot of ideas get incorporated in the US but they are developed in India,” V Balakrishnan, chairman at Exfinity Ventures, told the news paper.

“We do not want to miss any opportunity. We have applied for it with Mauritius (regulators). The approval should come by March end or April and then we can launch it. After launch it will take 8-10 months to close,” he added.

These plans come close on the heels of the enterprise technology-focused venture capital closing its second fund at Rs 300 crore ($45 million) from a clutch of family offices, industrial houses and high net-worth individuals, including Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, India’s best-known stock market investor, said a senior executive at the firm.

Exfinity was launched in 2014 by technology industry veterans T.V. Mohandas Pai, a former board member at Infosys Ltd; V. Balakrishnan, a former board member and chief financial officer at Infosys; Deepak Ghaisas, co-founder of I-flex Solutions; and Girish Paranjpe, former chief executive at Wipro Ltd.

The firm closed its first fund at Rs 125 crore and made about 13 investments from its first two funds, including RiverSilica, Mad Street Den, MoEngage, iQLect and Fitternity, among others.

“The first fund is fully invested in 9 companies, while 4 companies have been funded so far with the second corpus,” said Balakrishnan.

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