The Menlo Park, California-based venture capital (VC) firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ) has closed two deals here worth $4 million (Rs15.72 crore) in the mobile and Internet sectors, currently the flavour with VC investors in India. The names of the companies involved in the deals were not disclosed.
The two deals come barely within two months of DFJ setting up shop in Bangalore.
Mohanjit Jolly, executive director, DFJ India Advisory Services Pvt. Ltd, is investing from a $75 million India corpus and expects to close two more deals within a month. He is evaluating a total of five deals at the moment.
Jolly moved from DFJ’s Silicon Valley headquarters in early September to set up the firm’s local presence in Bangalore. He is flanked by part-time colleague Sateesh Andra, who invests out of Hyderabad. The $75 million corpus, allocated from the firm’s global $600 million DFJ IX fund, is to be deployed over the next three years across sectors including mobile, Internet, logistics and distribution, retail, renewable energy and environment-related technologies. Out of the five deals the firm is evaluating, four were sourced through another VC firm, said Jolly.
DFJ’s network among entrepreneurs is still nascent, but deal flow has gained momentum because of strong networking with other VCs already on the ground.
Syndicated deals, where DFJ will either lead or follow its peers as a co-investor, are likely to dominate the firm’s entry and mid-term strategy as it builds up on-ground presence and credibility in this market. The two recently concluded deals have NEA IndoUS Ventures and Footprint Ventures as co-investors, respectively. In some ways, the approach isn’t unusual. Many funds prefer to syndicate deals when they first enter the Indian market. Most also continue to co-invest as a long-term strategy, though, over time, their partners of choice become more definite.
“I want to build really strong ties with a handful of firms,” Jolly said.