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Is VC firm Bessemer Venture Partners exploring an exit from India?


Silicon Valley-based early stage venture capital Bessemer Venture Partners (BVP) may halt investment in Indian startups as several senior partners and executive have reportedly moved out from the firm.

Currently, only two people are left with the VC firm, including managing director Vishal Gupta and vice-president Raghav Bahl.

The funds which co-invest with Bessemer and founders of former portfolio companies hint that interest of BVP is drying up in its Indian arm, reports The Ken. The VC firm is grappling with a series of exits of managing directors and senior executives over the past five years.

Two managing directors Siddharth Nautiyal and Subramanya S V had left BVP in 2013 and 2015, respectively. While Siddharth has moved to Omidyar Network as an investment partner, Subramanya is running a fintech startup Fisdom.

Importantly, last year Bessemer Venture Partners had invested in six companies as compared to 10 in the previous year, mentions the report citing data from research platform Venture Intelligence.

Operational in India over past one decade, Bessemer Venture Partners has a fairly decent portfolio that includes food delivery major Swiggy, ride-hailing platform TaxiForSure (acquired by Ola in 2015) and online grocer Bigbasket.

It has also exited from Snapdeal with 3.3X return. Other exits for BVP include Matrimony.com and TaxiForSure, among a few others. Meanwhile, BVP is still evaluating deals and reportedly eying to invest in an early stage startup in the Internet space.

Also read: DocsApp secures $7.2 Mn from Bessemer Venture, and others

So, why Bessemer Venture Partners has slowed down investment in the country? Actually, large global institutional investors in India have been choking as exit funnel appears too narrow.

So far, only a handful of companies have given exits to VCs and hedge funds, including Tiger Global, Sequoia Capital, and others.

Additionally, entry of heavyweight investors such as Softbank, Alibaba, and Tencent have raised the bar for incumbents. Emerging dominance of early-stage investors with a large deal sourcing teams — IDG Ventures, Kalaari Capital, Accel Partners, Blume Ventures and newly launched funds such as Stellaris VC and Pravega are making things tough for VCs like BVP.

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