India: Temasek-backed InnoVen Capital sees two top execs quit to launch own fund

InnoVen Capital's India CEO Ajay Hattangadi
Ajay Hattangadi, who leads InnoVen Capital's India operations, has resigned. Photo: InnoVen Capital website.

Two senior executives at Temasek-backed InnoVen Capital, group COO and India CEO Ajay Hattangdi and deputy CEO Vinod Murali, have reportedly resigned from the venture debt firm to launch their own fund later this year.

According to a report in The Economic Times citing sources, the duo, who set up India’s largest venture debt provider along with Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund Temasek, are currently on leave till July end. Temasek has roped in an executive search firm to look for a replacement, said the sources.

“Temasek has roped in Spencer Stuart to hire the India CEO and they have already started reaching out to candidates,” said one of the sources.

“Temasek wanted InnoVen to remain a captive fund, while the team wanted to bring in external capital as well,” pointed out another source as to why Hattangdi and Murali quit.

The non-banking financial company (NBFC), formerly known as Silicon Valley Bank India, was acquired by Temasek in April 2015 for $48.1 million and rebranded as InnoVen Capital. The firm has so far invested about $225 million in more than a 100 startups.

In the March quarter, InnoVen Capital put in about $37 million across 17 companies, against $16 million in 13 companies in the three months to December, taking its total investment in the last fiscal to $85 million in 45 companies. It aims to deploy $80-100 million in FY18, Vinod Murali, managing director at InnoVen Capital India, had recently said.

“We note that Ajay Hattangdi and Vinod Murali have resigned from InnoVen Capital. As an investor, we remain committed to supporting the company and intend to work closely with the board to ensure that business continues as usual while the positions are suitably filled in due course,” a Temasek spokesperson told the newspaper.

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