Lightspeed raises $500m early-stage fund for India, SE Asia

Lightspeed raises $500m early-stage fund for India, SE Asia

Lightspeed Venture Partners

Venture capital investor Lightspeed Venture Partners has amassed over $7 billion across four funds including $500 million for its vehicle dedicated to India and SE Asia, according to its announcement on Tuesday.

Lightspeed India Partners – the backer of prominent startups such as Oyo, BYJU’s and Udaan – closed its $500-million early-stage LSIP Fund IV.

Lightspeed’s fundraising announcement comes at a time when several major venture capital investors have recently closed their vehicles targeting investment opportunities in the region.

Last month, Sequoia Capital announced its $850-million debut fund dedicated to the SE Asia region last month. The vehicle, Sequoia SEA Fund I, together with SC India Venture VIII and SC India Growth IV raised an aggregate of $2.85 billion to invest in India and SE Asia. In April, Elevation Capital, which has backed the likes of Paytm and Makemytrip, raised a $670-million India-focused fund. In May, Singapore-based Jungle Ventures announced raising $600 million for a new fund targeting investments in Southeast Asia and India.

Southeast Asia- and India-focused VC funds had raised $3.1 billion by May 2022, already nearing the $3.5 billion they raised in all of last year, Nikkei Asia reported, citing data from research company Preqin.

Lightspeed vehicles

Lightspeed has also closed a series of select and opportunity funds to double down on early and growth-stage investments across the world.

Apart from the India fund, the investor has raised $1.98 billion for Lightspeed’s Fund XIV; $2.26 billion for Select Fund V; and $2.36 billion for Opportunity Fund II. While Fund XIV aims to support founders from incubation to seed to Series B, Select V backs companies entering the growth phase. Over the past six years, Lightspeed has invested $2.2 billion in early growth companies.

Speaking to DealStreetAsia in an interview, Lightspeed partner Rahul Taneja said, “The India and SE Asia fund is an early-stage vehicle where we invest typically from seed to Series A, so anywhere between $1 million and $14 million. For Series B onwards, we have a pool of capital available in the Select and Opportunity Fund for companies in India and SE Asia as well, and we can go as high as needed.”

The new funds bring Lightspeed’s total committed capital under management to over $18 billion.

Founded in 2000, Lightspeed is a multi-stage venture capital firm focused on the enterprise, consumer, health, and fintech sectors. The firm has 12 global offices and a presence in the US, China, Europe, India, Israel, and SE Asia.

To date, it has invested in over 500 companies. Roughly a fourth of those companies have either been acquired or gone public, with 33 IPOs over the years. In the past two years alone, Lightspeed saw major IPOs and acquisitions including the listings of Affirm, Blend, and Clever. The firm generated more than $2.7 billion in liquidity for the firm’s LPs.

The firm also launched Lightspeed Faction – a new, independent crypto native team to drive transformation in the blockchain ecosystem. Lightspeed has invested over $1.5 billion in close to 100 global fintech companies including $600 million specifically in blockchain and emerging use cases. Notable blockchain-related companies in Lightspeed’s portfolio are and Indonesia’s Pintu.

The closing of Lightspeed India IV at its $500-million hard cap reflects the firm’s deepening commitment to the India and South East Asia region. DealstreetAsia spoke to Lightspeed partners Rahul Taneja and Pinn Lawjindakul, who oversee investments in India and SE Asia.

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