Sequoia Capital is raising an India growth fund, according to a document filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. It lists the fund’s name as Sequoia Capital India Growth Fund I.
The firm has raised $383 million from 75 investors and plans to raise another $2 million. The firm typically reserves an ownership stake in its funds for the investing partners, so with their participation, the fund could eventually top out at $400 million. The partners listed on the filing include all of the same U.S. investors in the firm’s $861 million Sequoia Capital Growth Fund III as well as the managing directors of its Indian affiliate.
It is unclear if Sequoia plans to bundle the growth vehicle with its other India funds or whether it will remain separate.
Sequoia Capital India reportedly plans to make about 20 investments, ranging from $10 million to $50 million, over the next three years. It will do early stage and late stage deals, investing as little as $1 million, according to Indian press reports. Further details were not immediately available. Sequoia formed an Indian affiliate earlier this year when it partnered with Westbridge Capital Partners. The partnership is reportedly raising a $400 million for a new fund. “We hope to close in the next two months and intend to invest this amount in Indian companies in the next three years,” Sandeep Singhal, managing director of Sequoia Capital India, told the Indian press.
It is unclear if the fund mentioned by Singhal and Sequoia Capital India Growth Fund are one and the same.
Sequoia is not alone in its desire to go after one of the hottest international markets. U.S. firms are increasing their exposure to India by launching dedicated funds, hiring new partners and opening branch offices. Draper Fisher Jurvetson is interviewing Indian investors to create IT and life sciences affiliates in India, Managing Director Steve Jurvetson told PE Week in May. The size of DFJ’s Indian funds has not been set, but the two affiliates would be separate from the $200 million India-oriented fund Tim Draper mentioned on a trip to the subcontinent last fall.
Meanwhile, IDG Ventures, the investment arm of International Data Group, has been working on raising a $150 million India fund since June. Last week, Matrix Partners tapped Avnish Bajaj, the co-founder and former CEO of Baazee.com, “India’s largest online marketplace,” and Rishi Navani, a former managing director at Westbridge, to run the firm’s $150 million India fund.
And Canaan Partners opened an India office in June.
The India venture market has been active this year. Private equity investors poured $1.4 billion into 69 companies in the first quarter, which is more than three times the amount they invested during the same period in 2005, according to Venture Intelligence India.