Sequoia boosts India fintech play, invests in Turtlemint, Smallcase

Photo: Reuters

Venture capital firm Sequoia Capital has led a $6-million round in insurance portal Turtlemint, and is investing another $7-8 million in personal investment platform Smallcase, The Economic Times reported.

The deals mark the latest investment bets by Sequoia in the country’s fintech space, which is predicted to cross $2.4 billion by 2020, according to a KPMG India-NASSCOM report. Sequoia had earlier backed lending and payments firms such as BankBazaar, Capital Float and MobiKwik. Most recently, the firm invested in Cred, founded by FreeCharge founder Kunal Shah, which offers rewards to credit card users on bill payments, and online finance platform Drip Capital.

Backed by brokerage platform Zerodha, Smallcase is a kind of thematic investing platform, which allows an investor to invest in a portfolio of stocks based on a theme, such as GST Opportunity. The Bengaluru-based company was established by three IIT-Kharagpur graduates –  Vasanth Kamath, Anugrah Shrivastava, and Rohan Gupta in 2015.

Turtlemint, on the other hand, was founded by former Quikr executives Dhirendra Mahyavanshi and Anand Prabhudesai in 2015. It is an online insurance aggregator with a financial advisory platform to offer clients advice based on algorithm and data analytics.

Sequoia Capital had recently announced a swathe of new venture capital and growth investment funds focused on the US, China and India as it seeks to compete with sovereign wealth funds and Japanese funding conglomerate SoftBank, which had raised a $100 billion Vision Fund.

In August, Sequoia announced the close of its sixth fund at $695 million targeted at early and growth stage investments across India and Southeast Asia (SEA). Its latest vehicle is much smaller than its last India-focused fund, which it had closed at $920 million about two years ago.

So far, Sequoia has made over 200 investments in India and Southeast Asia. Some of its notable Indian investments include Byju’s, Zomato, Freshworks, OYO Rooms, Practo, and Just Dial.

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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.