Sequoia Capital and Westbridge Capital Partners have united to invest in India, a move that comes as more venture investors are focusing on the subcontinent.
Though the joint effort will be called Sequoia Capital India, little is known about the terms of the partnership and whether any new fund will be raised. It’s obvious, though, that the India-focused VC firm Westbridge has been re-branded. Westbridge’s previous URL, www.wbcp.com, forwards to a new Sequoia Capital India site.
Calls to Sequoia and emails to Westbridge were not returned.
But the website shows that Westbridge General Partners Sumir Chadh, KP Balaraj, Sandeep Singhal and Surendra Jain will work under the Sequoia Capital India banner, alongside Operating Partner Mohit Bhatnagar, Vice President Shailendra Singh and Associate Ravi Shankar GV.
The partnership comes as investments in India are skyrocketing. Private equity pros invested $1.4 billion into 69 companies during the first quarter of 2006, more than three times the amount invested during the same period in 2005, according to a study by Venture Intelligence India.
The increase should come as no surprise to VC observers. Investors have been making commitments to invest in the region for some time. Tim Draper of Draper Fisher Jurvetson said in the fall that he would set up a $200 million India-focused fund. And Norwest Venture Partners has raised $650 million for fund X to help expand in India.
Westbridge itself had recently been through the fund-raising process. It raised $200 million in August 2005 from such LPs as Princeton University, the University of Chicago, Morgan Stanley, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and Procific.