Sudheer Kuppam’s VC firm to raise $400 million

Photo: Jagadeesh N.V./Mint

Sudheer Kuppam, former managing director at Intel Capital, has formed his own venture capital (VC) firm, Epsilon Venture Partners, and plans to raise $400 million for the venture.

Kuppam, who left Intel on 31 August after leading its investments in the Asia-Pacific, said the new fund will focus on investments in the technology sector.

Funds will be raised largely from limited partners (LPs) in Europe and US, said Kuppam.

“It usually takes anywhere from 12-18 months to raise this kind of money,” he added.

Epsilon, which will focus on investments across Asia, excluding China, will be headquartered in Singapore and will have offices in Mumbai, Tokyo and other Asian countries.

Kuppam is recruiting partners to lead these regions.

According to Kuppam, in his 15 years of experience at Intel, he did not work on China markets and, hence, would stay away from investing in that region.

Kuppam’s fund will look at investments right from early to late stage.

“I will look at product and hardware innovation firms in north and south-east Asia, and also services innovation firms,” he said.

While the fund will not miss the online commerce buzz, Kuppam said he would stay away from late-stage deals in e-commerce space.

“Late stage deals have gotten out of control and the valuations are over-stretched. We will only look at early to mid stage deals here,” he said.

DealStreetAsia reported the news on 1 September.

Kuppam has recently made two angel investments in India, including Andhra Pradesh-based Pi Data Centres Pvt. Ltd, a technology start-up founded by Kalyan Muppaneni; and business to business e-commerce company Farmtaaza.com.

Kuppam is confident the concerns around global markets will not impact his funding process.

“Now is as good as any other time. Once you have the experience, any LP will look to invest in the asset manager,” he added.

Several venture capital firms, including Accel Partners, Lightbox Ventures and IDG Ventures, have closed large new funds over the past year, riding the heightened activity in India’s start-up ecosystem.

Investors have poured in more than $6 billion into Indian start-ups over the past 18 months, mainly in e-commerce firms.

In March, Accel announced a new fund of $305 million; in July, Mumbai-based India Value Fund Advisors (IVFA) raised $700 million in its fifth fund.

Early-stage investor Orios Venture Partners is also looking to raise a new $150 million fund, Mint reported in July.

(This story was first published on livemint.com)

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