Mumbai: Intel Capital, the investment arm of chipmaker Intel Corp., has pared or fully sold its stakes in 13 companies it invested in India to date, six of which were in the last year. These include online brokerage firm India Infoline Ltd, communication technology firm Sasken Communications Technologies Ltd and computer education company NIIT Technologies Ltd.
The venture capital firm, which has invested in more than 40 companies in India in the last decade, has two more exits lined up this year, with portfolio companies Persistent Systems Ltd and Tejas Networks India Ltd slated to go public.
“India is one of the top money-making countries for Intel Capital globally,” said Sudheer Kumar Kuppam, managing director, India, Japan, Australasia and South-East Asia of the firm, declining details on returns earned. India accounted for nearly a quarter of Intel Capital’s 27 exits worldwide in 2007. Most of its exits were through a mix of initial public offerings and acquisitions.
Since 2006, the firm has been investing out of a dedicated $250 million (Rs983 crore) India technology fund. This fund has invested in 15 companies, including its latest undisclosed investment in e-card services company IntraSoft Technologies Ltd, which owns 123greetings.com.
It struck five deals last year, and says deal-making will be more active this year. India, Japan and South-East Asia together accounted for 6% of the firm’s worldwide investments in 2007, compared to 21% for China, Taiwan and Korea.
In India, Intel Capital has an average deal size of $5-7 million but it will now look at larger, growth deals as well. Focus sectors will be consumer Internet, business software and hardware and mobility.
“In the past, investments have been mostly services companies, with exceptions such as Tejas, but we expect more product companies in the next two-three years,” said Kuppam. The firm will also look at doing more PIPE (private investment in public enterprises) deals here; it has already done one such transaction with its $10 million investment in NIIT.