Lightbox to raise fund of $100 million next year

Lightbox

Venture capital (VC) firm Lightbox may raise a new fund next year after completing the last few investments from its current fund, according to the Mint report.

“VC firm is looking to complete investing from its current India fund, which has a corpus of more than $100 million, over the next 12-18 months, before launching the new fund,” said Sandeep Murthy, partner at Lightbox, to the daily paper.

The company has so far raised two India-focused funds and backed start-ups such as Faasos, Embibe, Furlenco and Droom.

He adds that as far as the second fund goes, his intention is to invest in 8-10 companies — he has invested in five so far.

Lightbox does not plan to raise a much larger fund and Murthy indicated that the size of the next fund will be roughly similar to the VC firm’s existing two funds in India. The second fund that Lightbox raised in 2014 had an initial corpus of around $90-100 million and the next fund is expected to be of a similar size, according to the media report.

In late 2016, Lightbox raised an add-on fund of $54 million to invest in its existing portfolio start-ups.

Lightbox will focus on sectors such as fast-moving consumer goods, artificial intelligence, fintech and data analytics and continue with its strategy of making early-stage bets, typically at the Series A stage, he said.

Over the past year, a number of leading VC firms have raised new funds, indicating that investors are still bullish on the potential of early-stage Indian start-ups. Last year, Sequoia Capital closed a $920 million fund to invest in early and late-stage ventures.

In December, VC firm Accel Partners, which over the years has backed high-profile technology start-ups, including Facebook Inc. and Flipkart, raised $450 million for its fifth India fund.

Fund-raising in the VC industry is expected to get much tougher than in previous years, given the absence of major exits in recent years. Due to the lack of exits, a number of VC firms in India have struggled to return money to their limited partners and have been forced to seek extensions from investors.

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