Lightspeed India appoints Hemant Mohapatra as partner
Venture capital firm Lightspeed India Partners, which is currently in talks to raise a new fund, has appointed former Andreessen Horowitz executive Hemant Mohapatra as a partner to make investments in consumer internet and enterprise software start-ups.
Mohapatra, a former Google executive, while he was partner at the Andreessen Horowitz fund in Silicon Valley, focused primarily on enterprise technology investments and served as a board observer at start-ups such as Cumulus Networks, Actifio and DigitalOcean.
“Hemant has very deep enterprise experience, but he’ll take on more than just that. We’re flat as a team and anybody can do any sector. We really value that because people bring different perspectives and it’s a learning opportunity,” said Dev Khare, managing partner at Lightspeed India.
With Mohapatra’s hire, Lightspeed will have six senior and junior partners in India.
“What I really care about is making an impact—ten years from now, I should look back and feel that I’ve had a big impact on the ecosystem. The Silicon Valley is a great place to be in and is very cutting edge, but it’s also very crowded, both in terms of a venture perspective and from an entrepreneur perspective. India is still in its early stages and I feel my experience could have a big impact here,” said Mohapatra, about his decision to move to India from Silicon Valley.
“I was clear that I wanted to work at a fund where our personalities are a very good fit in terms of how we build companies, deciding where to invest and why—those things have to match,” added Mohapatra.
Lightspeed is currently in talks to raise its second India fund, which is expected to be larger than its first fund, according to three people aware of the fundraising discussions. Khare, however, declined to comment on the VC firm’s latest fundraising.
Lightspeed has been investing in India since 2006. It has had three exits so far: the sale of Tutorvista to Pearson, the sale of ItzCash to Ebix and the public listing of Indian Energy Exchange. In 2015, Lightspeed launched its first India-dedicated fund of roughly $135 million. It has invested in 18 companies from the fund so far.
Some of the notable start-ups in Lightspeed’s current portfolio include hotel aggregator OYO Rooms, ed-tech start-up Byju’s, ShareChat, Udaan and social commerce platform LimeRoad.
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