SAIF Partners closes $350 Mn fund, to participate in more Series B deals

SAIF Partners

Venture capital firm SAIF Partners has secured a new fund of $350 million to invest in Indian startups. The new fund, third in a row, will have sharp focus on sectors such as education, enterprise Saas, healthcare and consumer Internet.

On the lines of earlier investments, SAIF will continue to invest in seed, Series A and growth stage companies. The investment firm is slated to invest 15-20 per cent of the new corpus in public companies while remaining will be deployed towards early and late stage companies from Internet domain.

SAIF Partners will start investing from this fund by early next year. The firm began investing in 2002 out of Asia focused fund, however it raised $350 million India specific fund in 2011 to exclusively invest in Indian startups.

The investment firm wasn’t very active in Series B investment round, however, through new fund it expects to cut cheque above $15 million. Financial service is also an interest are for the Gurugram-based VC firm.

While VC firms like Sequoia Capital, Accel Partners and Nexus Venture Partners had raised larger corpus in contrast of their previous fund size, SAIF has stuck to same fund size for third time in a row.

Sharing his thought about why SAIF didn’t go for larger fund size, Deepak Gaur, managing director of SAIF Partners said to the Economic Times, “It is a conscious choice to cap it at $350 million. It allows us the flexibility to do very early stage deals and also larger cheques.”

Unlike majority of the venture capital firms who’re struggling to offer promised return to their limited partners (LPs), SAIF placed bets on public companies as well as non-Internet ventures. It garnered handsome returns by backing companies like Justdial, Makemytrip and One97 Communications (mother entity of Paytm).

The fund bets in Internet space includes Firstcry, Urban Ladder, BookMyShow and Swiggy among several others.

Over the past one year, several India focused VC firms had raised new corpus. Last year, Sequoia Capital India, the country’s largest venture capital firm, raised $920 million for its fifth successive India-focused fund. Accel Partners India raised its fifth Indian-focused fund in tune of $450 million.

Earlier this year, Stellaris Venture Partners, an early-stage venture-capital firm founded by former executives of Helion Venture Partners, raised about $50 million as part of the first closing for its new $100 million fund.

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