About 18 months ago, Helion Venture Partners, one of India’s oldest homegrown venture capital firms, found itself at a crossroads. It could either continue with a blended sector focus, investing primarily in technology and some non-technology businesses, or pivot to a specialist technology investor. It chose the latter.
The decision wasn’t an easy one to make. It struck at the very foundation of the 10-year-old firm. In September 2014, shortly after the change in strategy, Kanwaljit Singh, one of Helion’s four founding partners, decided to quit. Singh was the primary champion of non-technology investments at the firm. At the time, the firm had more than a dozen non-technology companies in its portfolio across businesses ranging from specialist healthcare services to quick-service restaurants to salon services.