India: Info Edge to raise $100m for debut VC fund, rope in external LPs

Info Edge’s Sanjeev Bikhchandani. Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint

Even as the novel COVID-19 pandemic has slowed down the overall dealmaking process in India, investors are gearing up to raise capital to invest in the burgeoning startup ecosystem.

The latest in the fray is Noida-headquartered online classifieds company Info Edge, which owns and operates various portals such as recruitment firm Naukri.com and matrimonial site Jeevan Sathi. It is looking to raise as much as $100 million for its debut venture capital fund, which it launched earlier this year, said industry sources.

Of the total corpus, the company is planning to garner $50 million from Limited Partners (LPs) outside the company, industry sources told DealStreetAsia.

Messages, calls to Sanjeev Bikhchandani, founder and vice-chairman of Info Edge, remained unanswered at the time of publishing the story

In January, the company had first announced its plans to float an investment vehicle Info Edge Venture Fund – much on the lines of corporates such as Infosys and Wipro.  At that time, it had plans to pump in capital into the fund through its wholly-owned unit Smartweb Internet Services Ltd, said a report by VC Circle.

The proposed fundraising activity has been undertaken by Info Edge to foster entrepreneurship across the country in sectors such as consumer, and SAAS, among others. The company is known to backed as slew of startups in the past from its balance sheet and it counts food delivery unicorn Zomato and online insurance aggregator PolicyBazaar, among its early portfolio companies.

Info Edge Venture Fund recently made headlines for clocking two investments. It pumped in Rs 3.5 crore in Fanbuff Esports India, which runs e-sports community engagement platform Fanclash, and Rs 3.70 crore in Intellihealth Solutions that operates telehealth platform ‘Truemeds’.

Other fund managers who are in the process of shoring up capital from LPs are mid-stage, technology-focused venture capital fund Iron Pillar and Lightspeed Venture Partners. While Iron Pillar has roped in US-based real estate firm Nitya Capital as an investor, Lightspeed Venture Partners has bagged capital commitments worth up to $25 million for Lightspeed India Partners III from Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.