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Draper Fisher to invest in six more Indian companies

K Rajani Kanth  |  Chennai/ Hyderabad 

Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ), a Silicon Valley-based early-stage venture capital firm with $6 billion funds under management, is scouting for more investment opportunities in India, said Sateesh Andra, a partner with DFJ.

“We have set the bar pretty high for India. We are currently looking at several interesting to infuse investments from our $700-million (approximately Rs 3,220 crore) DFJ Core Fund. We will be making at least four to six investments in the country in the next one year,” he told Business Standard.

DFJ’s portfolio, with presence in over 30 cities across the globe with roughly 600 investments, includes technologies like Hotmail, Baidu, Skype, Enernoc and Athenahealth. In India, it had so far invested in 15

These include online travel portal Cleartrip, mobile advertising company mGinger, online DVD rental firm SeventyMM, electric car manufacturer Reva, out-of-home (OOH) service provider Livemedia and e-waste recycling company Attero with a total allocated capital of $100 million (Rs 460 crore), with its recent investment being Rs 12 crore in Hyderabad-based print-to-digital delivery service company Pressmart Media Limited.

Andra, who was the founder and chief executive officer of IT management software provider Euclid Software prior to joining DFJ, said the VC firm was focusing on consumer services like Internet, mobile, media and entertainment and clean technologies, besides education, lifesciences and healthcare, and niche IT services like software-as-a-service and tech-enabled manufacturing for investing in India.

“The Indian economy is robust and is being driven by consumer spending and this appetite is only growing. Pharmaceutical and biotechnology fields too are well evolved, which we understand very well. We see large opportunities in these areas,” Andra said.

He said the VC firm will continue to invest in sub-$5 million (around Rs 23 crore) early-stage deals in India with a typical holding period of five to seven years.

“However, our horizons don’t end there and our investments may go up to Rs 50 crore throughout the life of the in a majority of cases,” he added.

Commenting on reports that DFJ was contemplating raising a $150-million India-specific fund, he said the company had no such plans as of now.

DFJ currently has nine funds including the $290-million DFJ Growth (growth capital fund), Element (sector-specific) and Fund Nine ($700 million). Element, which at present has nearly $800 million funds under management, recently raised $284 million.

First Published: Wed, September 24 2008. 00:00 IST