To Embrace New Scaled India, IDG Ventures India Rebrands to Chiratae Ventures
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Indian market is changing, so is the scale of the entrepreneurial ecosystem. In this rapidly transforming environment, the members need to keep up with the pace to stay in the race. The need of adopting an innovation, pushing the limits, showcasing agility and the strength for taking risks would determine how far one can go and one of India’s leading venture capital firms is ready to embrace the change.
IDG Ventures India, known for making early investments in brands like Myntra, FirstCry, Lenskart and more, has rebranded itself to Chiratae Ventures. The firm has accredited the transformation to the unpredictable and exploratory terrains of the startup ecosystem and its new-found goal of staying ahead of game like a Chiratae that is Leopard in Kannada.
On the re-branding, ventures’ founder Sudhir Sethi stated, “Not only does Chiratae signify our team, and our interests. It is an emotion that signifies much more,” while mentioning that many of their team members are wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers. With the new identity, the venture capital firm is defining a new way of communication with investors and entrepreneurs.
With the ever-evolving Indian ecosystem, Chiratae Ventures believes that innovation and agility is the only way ahead. “Our entrepreneurs are unparalleled – global leaders who are leading this Indian wave. The last decade saw a growth of 10X, the coming decade will see 20X in Entrepreneurial activity in India,” added Sethi.
As India moves forward to become the 3rd largest economy with over $ 10 trillion GDP in the coming years, both the investors and entrepreneurs will witness immense opportunities. However, nothing comes without a price. “We as Investors need to reinvent for the new India. We recognize that India is changing rapidly and at scale and we want to be the catalysts to support this entrepreneurship growth and change,” Chiratae Ventures’ founder & Managing Director, TC Meenakshisundaram said in a press release.
Funding & Transition
Going forward, the venture fund plans to equally focus on both the investments and exits. Certain reports claim that the venture is planning to raise $275-300 million of funds under the re-branded identity; however, no one from the team has confirmed the development. Earlier working under US-based IDG Inc, Chiratae Ventures has become the first India partner of a foreign investment firm to go local.
Post raising its first fund of $150 million from IDG Inc, the firm garnered constant support from the parent team but also made subsequent Rupee transitions from local investors, raising their value to 45 per cent in the last fund of $200 million. With time, IDG’s fund commitment to Chiratae has dropped from 100 to 25 per cent.
Since IDG didn’t have a stake in the fund advisory unit owned by IDG India founders and team, its acquisition by China Oceanwide Holdings Group in 2017 didn’t affect India operations but further eased the transition process to Chiratae.
Chiratae Ventures had an interesting associated with Walmart-acquired Flipkart. Being an early investor in Myntra, the firm got direct shares in India’s largest online retailer when it acquired Myntra in 2014. However, the deal between Walmart and Flipkart disrupted the connection as the latter bought back $350 million worth of shares from its investors including Chiratae.
To get the $16 billion deal with Walmart on road, Flipkart Ltd purchased back shares from some Shekhar Kirani of Accel, SoftBank executive Deep Nishar’s family trust, IDG Ventures and a host of pension funds. Nonetheless, the alliance benefitted the venture capital firm in garnering more eyeballs.
Journey so Far
Since its inception in 2006, the firm has raised assets of over $470 million and has backed 76 companies across multiple funds. The firm has made early investments in startups across sectors including Myntra, Firstcry and Lenskart among others following by funding by home-sharing player Nestaway, consumer products leasing platform RentoMojo and financial technology company CreditMantri.
The firm had also showcased an interest in supply chain companies including agriculture products seller Agrostar and packing materials marketplace Bizongo. The venture capital firm which once backed licensed software makers as Manthan has now ventured towards fintech and SaaS space. It is also focused on backing core technology companies.
In the recent activity, Chiratae invested $40 million in a $120 million round health and fitness startup Cure.fit. The firm takes significant credit in the transition of online insurance marketplace Policybazaar to a unicorn. In a fund round last year, it had invested $500 million in the insurer.