Sharma will replace Chin Chao, CEO of InnoVen, Singapore and South-east Asia, who had stepped in as interim CEO for India on 1 August.
InnoVen is a pan-Asian venture debt platform with offices in Mumbai, Singapore and Beijing. It provides venture debt financing to high growth tech startups, and has since supported and provided over 175 loans to more than 120 start-ups across India and South-east Asia. Across these 175 loans, InnoVen has lent almost $240 million in capital.
Some of the start-ups the venture debt provider has lent to include Yatra, Oyo Rooms, Swiggy, Byju’s, Nestaway, Pepperfry, Prizm Payments, Shaadi.com, Shopclues, Myntra, Freecharge, Manthan Software, Firstcry, Practo, Capillary Technologies in India and 123RF, RedDoorz, M17 Entertainament, Oway, Fave, Guavapass and Pomelo in South-east Asia.
Prior to joining Innoven, Sharma was president and chief executive officer of GE Capital, India. Sharma has more than 19 years of experience within GE and GE Capital, having started his career as a management trainee under its Global Financial Management Program.
“His track record in building and leading teams to deliver high-performance growth, combined with strategic vision and deep, executional knowledge of India, puts him in good stead to expand InnoVen’s activities in India. India is an important market for InnoVen—there is a vibrant start-up ecosystem here and InnoVen is well-positioned to drive and to support that growth,” said Shantanu Mitra, chairman of InnoVen.
The hiring comes at a time when the venture provider is looking at increasing the ticket size of its loans.
On 21 September, Mint reported that InnoVen Capital has provided Rs100 crore ($15.4 million) to Nasdaq-listed online travel company Yatra in India’s largest venture debt transaction yet.
In an interaction with Mint, Chao said that larger ticket sizes is an area where InnoVen feels it can leverage its platform better. On the larger end of the deal spectrum, InnoVen is looking at average ticket sizes of around $10 million, he said.
InnoVen Capital entered India in 2008 as the first dedicated venture debt provider in the country. The firm was then part of US-based Silicon Valley Bank. In January 2015, Singapore’s state-owned investment firm Temasek acquired the Indian venture debt business of Silicon Valley Bank for around Rs280 crore.