Tiger Global Management is in talks to buy a significant minority stake in Sirion Labs, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider, as it continues its recent investing spree in Indian SaaS and business-to-business (B2B) startups, three people aware of the matter said.
Sirion Labs, founded by Ajay Agrawal in 2012, helps large enterprises manage outsourcing and procurement services and provides contract management software.
It also helps companies track the deliverables of the supplier in the contract, analyses data to decipher the performance of the supplier, and audits the invoice from the supplier.
Sirion Labs last raised $12.25 million in its Series B round led by existing investor Sequoia Capital. The funding round also saw the participation of QualGro Asean Fund and Canopy Ventures. In January 2014, the firm raised $5 million from Sequoia in its series A round.
The SaaS provider aims to raise around $30 million, but could end up raising as much as $50 million because of Tiger’s increased interest in the software startup scene in India, said one of the three people mentioned above.
Sirion Labs, Tiger Global, and Sequoia did not respond to mail seeking comment.
Tiger Global, one of India’s most prolific startup investors, with early bets on Flipkart and Ola, has recently turned its focus to B2B startups.
Emerging from an almost two-year hiatus, it has invested in several B2B startups in the last six months, including agriculture-marketing and delivery firm Ninjacart, where it invested $89 million last month.
Mint reported on 29 April that Tiger Global aims to invest in as many as five SaaS startups in May.
SaaS firms generally provide software that is accessed online via a subscription, rather than bought and installed on individual computers.
Tiger also led a $50 million round last week in Zenoti, provides software for salons and spa chains across 44 countries.
In the last six months, it has also invested in software startups such as Fyle, Facilio and CleverTap.
While Fyle provides expense management software for enterprises, Facilio provides real-time facility management for real estate businesses.
CleverTap’s software and analytics help businesses find people, events and behaviour on their websites and apps.
These indicate a marked shift in Tiger’s approach, as it moves away from the consumer-centric approach of 2011 to 2015 when it invested in consumer internet firms such as Ola, ShopClues and Hike, apart from Flipkart.
Tiger continues to hold stakes in some of India’s biggest B2B startups, including logistics provider Delhivery, freight transport firm BlackBuck, SaaS startup Freshworks Inc. and robotics startup GreyOrange.
While Freshworks became a unicorn—valued at over a billion dollars—last year, Delhivery became one last month when SoftBank Group Corp. led a $413 million round. While BlackBuck was valued at $950 million after its fundraise last week, GreyOrange was valued at $500 million after its last round.
On a global level, however, SaaS isn’t a new strategy for Tiger, with multiple such bets in China and the US, as Mint reported on 29 April. Globally, the fund has invested in companies such as China’s Udesk, which is an enterprise platform for intelligent customer service.
It has also invested in US-based Green Bits, a company that makes point-of-sale software for cannabis retailers.
Significantly, Tiger Global’s interest in India continues even after its celebrated private equity (PE) chief Lee Fixel decided to leave in March. Tiger Global’s PE business is now headed by Scott Shleifer, the fund’s New York-based co-founder.
According to Forbes, some of Shleifer’s best investments have come from China, where the company exited its $200 million investment in e-commerce platform JD.com with $5 billion and counts Meitu Inc., Didi Chuxing Technology Co. Ltd and Despegar.com Inc. as other portfolio wins.
Shleifer, who started as an analyst at Blackstone, had joined Tiger Global in 2002—four years before Fixel joined in 2006.
This article was first published on livemint.com.