Temasek-backed Innoven Capital to expand to Singapore

Visual of Innoven Capital website, July 2015

vinodTemasek-backed and Mumbai-based venture debt provider InnoVen Capital is planning to expand operations from India to other Asian markets, with Singapore slated to be its first overseas destination.

This comes amidst an increase in its operational tempo in India as it increases funding to India-based startup ventures.

The non-banking financial company (NBFC), which was formerly known as Silicon Valley Bank India, was acquired by Temasek earlier this year (April 2015) for $48.1 million and rebranded to Innoven Capital.

It is expected to expand to Singapore, prior to entering the major emerging markets of Indonesia and the Philippines. Innoven invests from its own balance sheet and has earmarked extending credit of up to $50 million for 2015/2016.

“Indian continues to be the growth engine for InnoVen Capital since it has a much more vibrant startup market, but our expansion is a natural progression of our growth,” said Vinod Murali, managing director of InnoVen Capital, in an interaction with the Economic Times.

To date, Innoven Capital has conducted 85 transactions and extended credit of up to $120 million, backing Indian startups like Greendust, Practo Technologies, Zoomcar and Faasos. 1H 2015 has seen it funding 13 ventures, with two more slated for public disclosure in the near future.

It recently lent to online recharge platform and mobile wallet provider MobiKwik  and online test prep startup Embibe. InnoVen lent $2 million to MobiKwik three months after MobiKwik closed a $25 million funding round, led by Tree Line Asia, Cisco Investments, American Express and Sequoia Capital. Imbibe was loaned $500,000.

Murali said,”Close to a third of our transactions are with companies that have borrowed from us before. We come in after an equity round, with the trigger being a Series A round. There’s a lot of headroom to grow, but green shoots are coming through now.”

By and large, venture debt has lagged behind equity financing in India and other Asian markets, with only a few firms offering venture debt financing to startups. Indian startups generally use debt financing to fund working capital requirements, expansion and acquisitions.

In an Economic Times report, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder and CEO of mobile payments and commerce platform Paytm explained: “It’s about cash flow management. Venture debt acts as bridge funding, and can be a great asset to companies that may not be able to offer assets as collateral.”

With a target of 30 deals for 2015, their expansion into the untapped Southeast Asian market is likely to broaden the deal flow.

Another venture debt businesses emerging as a competitor is Trifecta Capital. Trifecta was founded by Rahul Khanna, formerly of venture capital firm Canaan Partners, and Nilesh Kothari, who headed Accenture’s M&A unit.

Related Stories: 

Temasek-backed Innoven planning for ASEAN expansion

Temasek completes acquisition of SVB India, rebrands it InnoVen

2Q 2015 sees India account for 4% of Temasek portfolio 

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.