Bangalore: Joining the growing list of US venture capitalists setting aside money from their global corpus to invest specifically in India, Palo Alto, California-based Trident Capital Inc. has said it will invest $150 million, around Rs600 crore, in the country over three years from its seventh fund.
It expects to raise its seventh fund this year, the size of which is expected to be between $600 million and $800 million.
The firm’s managing director Venetia Kontogouris said that besides India, it would also invest in China, the US, and in green (technology) companies from this fund. Trident currently invests out of its $430 million fund. Trident said it plans to speed Indian investments and expects to announce two deals shortly, but declined to provide further information.
“In India, we plan to invest in media companies, health care and financial services, as well as in companies related to IT back-up of retail firms,” said Kontogouris. The top executive said India is a crucial market for the firm, and to beef up its focus, Trident plans to bring in two more professionals to tap the potential of new entrepreneurs. The firm currently has one venture partner, Dipika Chopra, based in New Delhi.
Trident manages nearly $1.6 billion in capital and focuses on information services and software business. Since its inception in 1993, the firm has made more than 120 investments.
In India, Trident has invested in two companies, including $3 million in IT infrastructure services provider Microland Ltd in 2005 and $7 million in Pune-based Neilsoft Ltd in 2007. Neilsoft provides engineering and technology solutions to the construction industry. Trident, however, does not intend to start a India-specific fund.
Most venture capitalists do not have country-specific funds, and prefer investing from their global corpus, saying that it helps them to “cushion” economic disturbances in various geographies. The venture capital firms that have allocated a part of their corpus to India include Canaan Partners and Lightspeed Advisory Services India Pvt. Ltd.
The Menlo Park, California-based Canaan had said that it will invest $150 million in India in three years from its eighth fund. It raised the $650 million fund in January. Like its other US-based peers, Canaan also invests out of its global funds and does not plan to have a country-specific fund for India.
In December 2007, Lightspeed Advisory had said that its US-based parent company Lightspeed Venture Partners would soon float a new fund, out of which 20-25% will be invested in India. The rest would go to China, Israel and the US, the company had said.