Network 18 arm closes 4 deals, eyes growth firms

Network 18 arm closes 4 deals, eyes growth firms

Mumbai: The venture capital and private equity investment arm of Delhi-based media company Network 18 Fincap Pvt. Ltd, Capital 18, has closed four deals, two of which are undisclosed, since its formal incorporation this January.

The two disclosed deals involve investments in online learning company 24X7 Learning Solutions Pvt. Ltd ($4 million or Rs15.8 crore) and online search advertising firm Webchutney Studio Pvt. Ltd (deal size undisclosed).

The investments made by Capital 18 are separate from those that the group’s Internet arm, Web 18, has been making over the last 12-18 months. “We will invest in sectors complementary to, but not conflicting with the strategies of Network 18," says Sarbvir Singh, managing director, Capital 18.

Singh said that the venture capital arm would not invest in companies that have the potential to be merged with the group’s existing properties. Gaming, animation, print media and the larger media, entertainment and technology space would be its key areas of focus for investment.

Web 18, the Internet arm, has invested in at least six Indian companies, including movie ticketing company Bigtree Entertainment Pvt. Ltd and travel portal Unlike Web 18, which aligns its investment along the group’s larger strategies and invests from Network 18’s balance sheet, the venture capital arm operates as a separate fund.

Singh did not reveal the size of the fund, but said “it invested out of a dedicated corpus".

Capital 18 wants to differentiate itself from other venture capital firms by leveraging the resources of its parent to help its portfolio companies.

It will typically invest $5-10 million per company, which pits it against venture capital investors such as Sequoia Capital India, Helion Venture Partners in Bangalore and Matrix India Partners in Mumbai.

The firm has plans to invest in 8-10 companies over the next few years. Capital 18 will not only focus on growth companies looking to scale, but will also invest in large incubation projects.