Venture firm Matrix Partners India, an early investor in ride hailing app Ola and classifieds portal Quikr, has raised a further Rs 730 crore or $110 million to boost the corpus of its second fund.
The fund raise comes at a time when a cofounder Rishi Navani is leaving the firm, which will now be managed by cofounder Avnish Bajaj along with managing directors Vikram Vaidyanathan and Tarun Davda. The firm will now have a total corpus of about $400 million in its second fund, which was first set up in 2011. The additional corpus has been raised from existing investors or limited partners who provide the capital invested by venture firms.
“The reason why we are not raising a full-fledged fund right now is because we are more focused right now on exits,” said Bajaj who expects his fund to raise a third fund in the second half of 2017. Bajaj, a Harvard Business School alumnus who cofounded one of India’s earliest ecommerce ventures — Baazee. com, set up Matrix Partners in 2006 along with Navani. The decision to part was amicable, according to Bajaj.
Navani will continue to work with several portfolio companies of Matrix Partners, even after he moves out to set up a late-stage and public markets-focused investment fund. Matrix aims to invest across seed and Series-A deals while being selective about putting money in later-stage companies. It will target areas like online marketplaces, financial technology, software, logistics and healthcare technology, among others. People in the know said Navani is likely to set up a new investment firm, which will focus on growth-stage investment in tech companies and, also invest in the public markets.
A veteran with two decades of experience in venture capital and private equity, he has worked at firms like Chase Capital Partners and WestBridge Capital. Navani did not comment for this story. However, he confirmed his plans to leave Matrix but declined to provide details of his new firm. In its early years, Matrix Partners focused primarily on non-tech investments, as did peers from Silicon Valley, as internet penetration in India was low. The venture capital firm invested in financial services, retail chains and healthcare delivery companies, where it backed half a dozen companies. But in the last four years or so, the focus has moved to consumer internet and technology deals. “We will continue our consumer and healthcare investment franchisees going forward as well, but with a technology angle,” said Bajaj.