Tiger Global’s Lee Fixel hangs up his boots; to launch own fund

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In a surprising move, Lee Fixel, who is in charge of Tiger Global Management’s private equity business, has announced his departure after 13 years to start his own investment firm.

Fixel, who is a partner at the $26 billion firm, will depart after three months (June 30), Tiger Global said in an email to investors.

The e-mail letter quoted by Reuters said that Fixel, who has been a driving force behind the expansion of Tiger Global’s private equity investment activities in the United States and India, will invest his own money and may start an investment firm soon.

The Florida-based investor joined Tiger Global in 2006 after working as an analyst at hedge fund Alkeon Capital Management.

Regarded as one of the smartest investors, he is famously called as king of Indian e-commerce for his bet on India’s consumer internet business.

Fixel, among his many investment initiatives, led $2 billion investments, a majority of this (around $1 billion ) went into Flipkart, in India. He backed Flipkart in 2011 when it needed capital to grow and gain dominance in the nascent local e-commerce market.

His early investment in the e-tailer reaped more than double (about $3 billion) after Walmart acquired a majority stake in Flipkart last year.

And it was not only funding, but Fixel played a crucial role to bring in Tiger Global executive Kalyan Krishnamurthy in Flipkart. He is also said to have played a key role in Sachin Bansal’s exit from Flipkart as he opposed a larger role sought by Sachin to Walmart.

Besides, under him, Tiger Global made about 40 investments in new startups, out of it majority did not bring a good return of investments. This led to his criticism for ratcheting up valuations of young startups in the country.

However, his overall investment initiatives helped Tiger established as a prominent technology investment group. His instinct to identify startups and back them will be something that Tiger Global miss.

He won immense respect and fortune by betting early on Swedish music streaming firm Spotify.

Since he will be soon coming back with his own firm, it will be interesting to see if he will continue to make bold bets in India and globally the way he did.

Fixel is ranked 43 in the list of Forbes Midas List.

Till May 2018, Tiger Global’s venture unit had made more than 200 investments in 30 countries.

After Fixel departure, Scott Shleifer and Chase Coleman, who co-founded Tiger Global in 2001, will continue running the firm’s private equity portfolio.

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