Thomas Weisel Raising $300M Indian FoF –

Thomas Weisel Partners (TWP) is raising what is believed to be the first U.S. based fund-of-funds to focus on India, Buyouts has learned.

The San Francisco-based investment bank is raising $300 million for TWP India Opportunity Fund, a FoF that will invest in primary managers in the second most populated country in the world.

TWP hired Sreenivasulu “Srini” Vudayagiri to head up the FoF fund-raising effort. Vudayagiri spent the last six years as an associate director and head of asset management for Intel Capital in India. Before Intel, he was part of the founding team of CDC Capital Partners (now called ACTIS) in India for four years.

TWP’s FoF is part of the firm’s overall expansion in India. Vudayagiri will be based in Mumbai, India.

TWP will be an LP in the new fund, but says it will not be a “significant” investor in the FoF. The firm would not disclose any other LP information.

But Vudayagiri tells Buyouts that he has already had pre-marketing meetings with LPs. Vudayagiri says that the response by potential LPs has been enthusiastic, and he hopes for a first close in March or April and a final close in June or July.

TWP already manages about $750 million in venture funds, across three different programs. They is a $420 million 2000 vintage FoF; a $252 million 2000 vintage technology fund; and a $122 million vintage 2003 healthcare fund. The health care fund is currently in pre-marketing for a follow-on vehicle.