Home / Companies / Start-ups /  Sequoia in talks to invest up to $30 mn in SaaS startup Whatfix

Mumbai: Sequoia Capital is in talks with Whatfix to invest up to $30 million in the enterprise software platform, said two people aware of the matter.

Whatfix could have a post-money valuation of $150 million, they said, requesting anonymity. Its existing investors, Eight Roads Ventures, Stellaris Venture Partners and Cisco Investments, are also likely to participate in the round, said the two people cited above.

Whatfix, founded by Vara Kumar Namburu and Khadim Batti in 2013, makes software adoption easier for companies. The products involve onboarding, performance support, change management and training. Its customers include beer-maker Heineken, online fashion retailer Myntra and online retailer Takealot.

While a Sequoia spokesperson declined to comment, Batti did not respond to multiple emails seeking comment.

In March, the software-as-a-service (SaaS) firm had raised $13.2 million in its Series B round from F Prime Capital, Cisco and Eight Roads.

“Whatfix is a good example of India-based SaaS firms which set up shop abroad, have global customers and real growing revenue without raising too much capital," said one of the two people cited above.

Enterprise software firms have seen huge interest from investors such as Tiger Global Management and Steadview Capital, which have invested in over a dozen such firms in India this year alone.

While consumer internet-led startups have been the most-funded in the Indian startup ecosystem, software is fast catching up. In fact, global success stories, such as that of workplace collaboration app Slack and homegrown SaaS firm Freshworks, have turned the spotlight on the segment.

Sequoia has been looking more actively at SaaS startups. It had first invested in Freshdesk (now Freshworks) in 2016, valuing it at $700 million. Freshworks, which reached a valuation of $3.5 billion last month, provides customer support, management and IT services to enterprises.

Its other SaaS investments include Sirion Labs, which helps large enterprises manage outsourcing, procurement and provides contract management software, and predictive sales analytics platform Vymo.

Even across sectors, the Indian arm of the storied Silicon Valley fund has been one of the country’s most prolific investors, with $1.2 billion in assets under management. The Sequoia Capital India fund VI, from which it is currently deploying, invests in Indian and Southeast Asian startups. Mint reported on July 31 that Sequoia has extended the sixth fund by $200 million, over and above the $695 million it had originally raised in August last year.

Sequoia also secured its largest exit ever in India earlier this month when Oyo’s founder Ritesh Agarwal bought back shares from early backers Sequoia and Lightspeed. Sequoia got a 20x exit, raking in about $500 million on a total investment of $25 million across rounds.

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