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Sequoia Capital, WestBridge merge to launch new fund

Written by: Staff
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Mumbai, May 3 (UNI) Leading US-based global venture capital major Sequoia Capital will be launching a new fund in India focussed on different market sectors within the next two weeks. The VC, which will focus strongly on the Indian market given its immense potential, also plans to open a new office here within the next 12-to-18 months.

Sequoia Capital is a 30-year-old fund with USD 3.5 billion under management, 18 funds, over 500 investments, 130+ IPOs and 100+ M&As to its credit. It invests primarily in seed, early-and-growth-stage companies, especially in the IT ecosystem and presently has an exposure of around USD 75 million in India including a USD 35 million investment done very recently which was a part of one of the biggest buyouts in the Indian market.

Interacting with journalists after announcing the merger of the Mauritius-based Indian venture capital fund WestBridge Capital Partners with Sequoia Capital here today, Mr Douglas Leone, General Partner at Sequoia Capital US, said that the merged entity christened Sequoia Capital India with WestBridge Capital Partners, will be investing not only in the IT landscape but also in other high-growth companies across different market segments.

The merged entity's name will be shortened to Sequoia Capital India within one year, he revealed.

Following the merger, WestBridge's USD 200 million second fund, the WestBridge Ventures Fund II will also be renamed Sequoia Capital India Fund II.

Pointing out that Sequoia Capital India is ''an extension of Sequoia Capital's involvement in the country over the past fifteen years'' Mr. Leone said that the merged entity ''will assist entrepreneurs in building their businesses and connecting them with Sequoia Capital's deep relationships in the US.'' Sequoia has had a relationship with India going back over fifteen years when its first investment helped build one of the early engineering outsourcing operations in Bangalore.

Mr Sumir Chadha, co-founder and Senior Managing Director of WestBridge Capital Partners said that ''the formation of Sequoia Capital India follows the close working relationship between our two firms over the past several years, including the two co-investments of Bharti Telesoft and Mauj, in India.'' WestBridge Capital, which has invested heavily in BPOs in its initial years, presently has two funds of USD 350 million under its management and, like Sequoia, also invests in seed, early and growth stage companies.

Sequoia Capital India will be led by the four managing directors of WestBridge Capital Partners -- Mr Sumir Chadha, Mr K. P. Balaraj, Mr. Sandeep Singhal and Mr. S. K. Jain, who will manage all investment and firm decisions in the Indian market.

UNI JJ ADG AW1552

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