India VCs: Helion pivots from blended play to specialist technology focus

India VCs: Helion pivots from blended play to specialist technology focus

Alok Goyal, partner, Helion Venture Partners.(Mint).

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.

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