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Bessemer closes $220m fund dedicated for early-stage Indian startups

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Early stage investment giant Bessemer Venture Partners has closed a $220m fund in India to invest in early-stage Indian startups and support them through subsequent growth stages.

The firm said the fund will deploy the its long-time approach of starting with seed and Seires A investments and sticking with the companies throughout the growth lifecycle with later stage investments.

Investments of the fund will focus in consumer internet and cloud software, including marketplaces, digital health, social commerce, vertical and global SaaS.

Vishal Gupta, partner and managing director of the Bessemer’s Bangalore office said, “We’ve always had a global investment approach and India has long been a focus for us. This new capital allows us to go deeper in the market, while continuing to support our portfolio with Bessemer’s global network and resources. The dedicated fund exemplifies our confidence in the massive growth opportunities within India.

“We are excited to not only continue supporting the many companies with whom we already partner, but to expand our investments to even more innovative entrepreneurs who are shaping the future.”

Bob Goodman, partner in Bessemer’s New York office, added, “As we look at where innovation is stemming worldwide, it’s clear that the India startup ecosystem is more vibrant than ever.

“We see a sizable market of India-based companies that will disrupt global markets and look forward to leveraging Bessemer’s global platform, deep domain expertise and the insights our team has amassed over the years to help these founders navigate areas that are critical to building and scaling their business.”

The firm also hired Nithin Kaimal as COO at its Bangalore office to oversee operations, portfolio services, and fund governance. Kaimal joined Bessemer from his own investment management firm VixCap. He was senior director at India Resurgence Fund before starting his own firm.

Anant Vidur Puri, partner at Bessemer, said, “Nithin joins at a time of incredible growth in the market and brings deep operational expertise that will be invaluable as the firm’s focus within India grows even stronger.

“India represents a trillion dollar digital opportunity across consumer internet and SaaS as we predict 500 million more people will engage and transact online in the next ten years. Through this new fund we will continue to partner with the best entrepreneurs who are looking to build for this opportunity within India and beyond.”

Bessemer first invested in India 15 years ago and covered multi-stage investments from seed to Series D. Portfolio companies include PharmEasy , BigBasket, Swiggy, Urban Company and Perfios.

Bessemer hauled in $3.3bn for two fundraise in February.

The $2.475bn BVP XI fund marks a hefty jump in size compared to the firm’s previous record fundraise, the $1.85bn Fund X it closed towards the end of 2018.

Bessemer said it had also collected $825m for its second Century Fund focused on growth investments in new companies and its existing portfolio businesses.

It closed its debut Century fund on $525m less than 18 months ago.

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