Walden revives plan for India-dedicated VC fund

17 Aug, 2015

Walden_International_logoGlobal venture capital firm Walden International (WI) is planning to launch an India-dedicated fund to invest in hardware and technology startups in the country, joining many international peers who have raised country-focused funds in the past.

The VC firm, which claims to be the first Silicon Valley based VC firm to establish a presence in India, is currently investing in Indian companies through its international fund and is waiting for some government clearances, Lip Bu Tan, chairman of Walden, told The Economic Times.

VC funds looking to set up local fund arms need too register with capital markets regulator SEBI under its AIF norms. Walden could become the second such US-headquartered VC firm to float a local fund. Lightspeed has just raised $135 million in its maiden Indian fund.

An email query sent to Tan to confirm the development and know more about the new fund, did not elicit any response till the time of filing this article.

"I am very bullish about India, especially in the semiconductor and hardware space. With Foxconn coming in and Flextronics already present here we can really begin to scale," Tan told the ET reporters.

Walden, which has assets under management of over $2.3 billion and provides seed, early and growth capital to companies, has an investment practice across US, China, India, Israel, Taiwan and Southeast Asia.

The firm seeks to invest in semiconductors, electronics and digital consumer, software and IT services, clean technology, communications and emerging technology sectors.

Most recently it invested fresh money in its existing portfolio firm BankBazaar that raised Rs 375 crore ($60 million) in its Series C round of funding last month led by Amazon with participation from Fidelity Growth Partners and Mousse Partners. Existing investors Sequoia besides Walden also participated.

In June it invested in Singapore-based startup Spini that has just set up presence in India in Chennai.

Some of its other investments include GoPro, Creative Technology, MindTree, SINA, Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp, AutoNavi, Inphi, Silergy, Ambarella and Sinosun Technology.

In May, Walden inducted Ganapathy Subramaniam (Gani) as venture partner for its own and affiliate funds such as WRV II.

In 2013, it had talked about plans to set up a $100 million fund for India but the proposed fund did not materialise.

"Now I see a new wave of people from India with more experience coming up to do startups and they are starting to think about having to have their own products," according to Tan.