Venture Highway, the seed investments focused venture capital firm founded by former Google executive Samir Sood, has raised $78.6 million for its second India-focused fund.
The new fund aims to back approximately 30 early-stage companies, Venture Highway said in a statement.
Former WhatsApp global business head Neeraj Arora is a returning limited partner (investors in venture capital funds) in the second fund. Arora is also an advisor to the firm’s investments. Details on other limited partners in the fund were not available.
Arora and Sood are friends from working together Google. Apart from Google, Sood also worked with global technology firms such as Google, Microsoft and Cisco Systems. At Google, Sood led the technology giant’s investments in several seed stage funds in India such as Erasmic Venture Fund, which is now Accel India.
The average cheque size for the second fund is expected to be $1 million. Venture Highway, said in the statement that it seeks to partner with capital-efficient technology businesses and add value through the firm’s global and local networks.
“We are extremely passionate about helping advise technology entrepreneurs build their businesses with our local and global networks. Our goal is to give back to our country’s early stage ecosystem and we continue to be extremely excited about the quality of the current generation of entrepreneurs building large businesses out of India,” Sood said.
Mauritius-headquartered Venture Highway's first fund, corpus undisclosed, backed founders in startups such as reseller network Meesho and vernacular social networking platform Sharechat, which are billed among the top 30 ‘soonicorns’ — startups with a potential to soon reach a billion-dollar valuation — in India. Some of its other early investments have been in B2B industrial goods marketplace Moglix, accounting application provider OkCredit, data provider for venture capital Tracxn, used cars platform Cars24 and fintech firm Wishfin.
Lately, there has been increased activity in the early stage market in India in terms of new funds, which plug the gap between the seed and Series A rounds.
Last week, Mantra Capital raised $24 million for its maiden fund. The final close for the $60 million Atlanta, US-headquartered fund is likely to be concluded by the summer of 2020.
Mauritius-registered cross-border fund Good Capital announced the first close of its $25 million maiden fund in September 2019.
Earlier in 2019, Endiya Partners announced the first close of its second investment vehicle at $40 million for emerging technology startups.