Lightspeed said to seek $300m for third India-focused VC fund

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Silicon Valley venture capital firm Lightspeed is in the process of raising its third India-focused fund, which is likely to be in the range of $250-300 million.

According to a report in the Times of India, Lightspeed started informing potential limited partners (LPs) and kicked off fundraising for the new vehicle a few months ago. The firm has attracted much investor attention recently, given its growing portfolio and exits last year.

Lightspeed, which has been operating in India for 12 years, launched its first India dedicated fund at $135 million in 2015. It made about 20 investments from that fund, including in Byju’s, messaging app Sharechat, and Udaan, a marketplace for businesses. It raised a second, bigger fund of $175 million in 2018.

The firm was in the news recently for making record exits from hospitality major OYO and edtech unicorn Byju’s. Lightspeed Venture Partners, which held about a 13 per cent stake in OYO, partially sold its stake for roughly $850 million late last year, making over a 35x returns on its investment. It also partially exited Byju’s for $70-80 million, generating over 8-9 times returns.

Lightspeed’s other portfolio companies in India include book-keeping startup OkCredit, business-to-business logistics startup Freight Tiger, Bengaluru-based artificial intelligence startup Yellow Messenger, and bus aggregation platform Shuttl. It has also been an early backer of enterprise software startups Innovaccer and DarwinBox.

Lightspeed Venture Partners runs a global portfolio across multiple funds, focusing on early-stage firms in the consumer and enterprise space. It currently manages over $6 billion of committed capital across the US, Israel, India and China.

The firm has also been looking to enter the Southeast Asian market for some time. It is opening its first Southeast Asia office in Singapore, we reported last month. The firm clinched its first deal in the region when it joined a $2 billion funding round for Grab, alongside OppenheimerFunds, Ping An Capital and Toyota Motor, in August 2018.

Other global venture capital firms, too, continue to be bullish on the India market despite the ongoing economic slowdown.

Silicon Valley venture capital firm Sequoia Capital, an early investor in some of India’s biggest startups including Byju’s, Zomato, and OYO, is reportedly planning to float its largest India-focused fund with a corpus of about $1.25 billion.

Singapore-headquartered investment firm Venturi Partners is seeking to raise $150 million for a new consumer-focused fund to target growth investments in India and Southeast Asia (SEA), DealStreetAsia reported in January.

Last December, Accel Partners raised $550 million for a new India-focused fund aimed at backing early-stage startups in the country. The latest fund is Accel’s sixth for India.

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.