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Bessemer Venture Partners won’t wind up in India, plans to invest $40-50 Mn in 2018


It seems like Bessemer Venture Partners (BVP) doesn’t have any plan to wind-up its operations in India. Almost a month ago, speculations surfaced that the VC firm is losing interest in Indian unit and may halt operations.

Meanwhile, Bessemer has said that it’s eyeing to invest $40-50 million in Indian startups this year.

Bessemer Venture Partners India head, Vishal Gupta said that the investment firm has become more selective in making deals than following usual spray and pray approach. He also emphasises that investment pace for the firm in India is business as usual.

BVP has been active in India for more than a decade and has so far invested in about $700 million across 47 portfolio companies. It counts Snapdeal, Swiggy, ride-hailing platform TaxiForSure (acquired by Ola in 2015) and online grocer Bigbasket in its portfolio.

Unlike the past (before 2016), Bessemer used to invest in 8 to 12 companies every year, the firm will place concentrated bets. Besides exploring new deals, it will also participate in funding rounds of existing portfolio companies.

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

Over the past five years, the VC firm has been grappling with a series of exits of managing directors and senior executives. Two managing directors Siddharth Nautiyal and Subramanya S V had left BVP in 2013 and 2015.

While Siddharth has moved to Omidyar Network as an investment partner, Subramanya is running a fintech startup Fisdom.

The VC firm’s Indian unit has a decent portfolio over the years and also scooped up handsome returns on its investment in Snapdeal (with 3.3X return), Matrimony.com and TaxiForSure. The Silicon Valley-headquartered investment firm had also invested in healthcare startup DocsApp, Innoviti, Perfios, Wydr amongst others.

The report was first published in ET.

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