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Lightspeed raises $500 million for its new India and Southeast Asia fund – TechCrunch


Lightspeed has raised $500 million for its latest India and Southeast Asia fund, its largest for the areas, because it appears to be like to make deeper investments within the South Asian market that’s more and more attracting world traders.

The fund, fourth for Lightspeed India, was hard-capped at $500 million, that means the agency didn’t need to increase further capital, mentioned the agency, which unveiled its $275 million third India fund in 2020.

The Tuesday announcement confirms TechCrunch’s April report, which mentioned Lightspeed had initiated fundraising deliberations for the brand new India and Southeast Asia fund and was aiming to boost about $500 million.

Lightspeed moreover mentioned Tuesday that it has raised over $7 billion throughout a number of funds, together with India and Southeast’s.

Lightspeed started investing in India over 10 years in the past and has amassed a formidable portfolio of a number of fast-growing startups together with Byju’s, India’s most useful startup, SaaS agency Innovaccer, e-commerce large Udaan, social media large ShareChat and funds large Razorpay.

It started investing within the Southeast Asian market previously decade and has backed a number of startups together with Ula, which has since been backed by Jeff Bezos, and ride-hailing large Seize.

The agency, which has a staff of 9 companions in India and Southeast Asia, is almost doubling the scale of its fund as a result of it’s seeing extra alternatives within the areas as a younger crop of startups try to resolve deeper and newer issues, mentioned Rahul Taneja, a companion at Lightspeed, in an interview with TechCrunch.

“In case you dial again 15 years when India web 1.0 began, we noticed the emergence of business-to-commerce marketplaces of digital items equivalent to MakeMyTrip and BookMyShow. Now the Indian web economic system is far broader with so many new sectors and inside these sectors, there’s a ton of depth,” he mentioned.

“One other fascinating issue that we more and more see now could be the standard of entrepreneurs who’re selecting to launch their ventures. Our perception is that in the present day we’ve got the chance to play a lot wider,” he added.

Like most funds, Lightspeed hit the brakes in the course of the preliminary months after the pandemic broke. What makes Lightspeed’s technique fascinating is that it largely refused to take part within the report frenzy funding cycle of final 12 months.

“Lightspeed has been extremely selective concerning the startups we again,” mentioned Hemant Mohapatra, a companion at Lightspeed, in an interview with TechCrunch. “We by no means need to be on the lists of funds that do probably the most variety of offers.”

“Final 12 months, we have been seeing very high-momentum weekend offers with very, very excessive valuations. I’ll say for probably the most half, these offers didn’t meet our bar and we ended up passing on these corporations. Our deployment tempo in comparison with the market over the past 12 months and a half was slower,” he mentioned.

Lightspeed has remained in line with its method and velocity of deal actions and continues to be investing on the similar tempo as final 12 months — which in comparison with the market situations now — is quicker, mentioned Mohapatra, who beforehand labored at AMD, Google and Andreessen Horowitz.

“It’s an space of deliberate selection for us. Repeatedly over the previous few years, we’ve got had discussions about whether or not we must always make any modifications to our technique across the tempo of investments and the sort of corporations we’re supporting,” mentioned Taneja. “I feel we’ve got been pretty level-headed and in hindsight that appears nice.”

“If we’re enthusiastic about 10 corporations, we’ll spend money on all ten of these. If we’re not enthusiastic about any of them, we is not going to make any funding,” he added.

Lightspeed will proceed to concentrate on areas equivalent to shopper web, SaaS, fintech and edtech, the 2 companions mentioned, including that the agency can also be more and more evaluating newer alternatives in further sectors equivalent to climate-tech, cross-border funds and web3. Lightspeed India has invested in 9 web3 startups within the final one 12 months.

It’s additionally stage-agnostic about funding alternatives. Taneja mentioned Lightspeed India works intently with different arms of the agency and each time wanted, the worldwide fund delivers the large checks as we’ve got seen within the instances of Udaan and Razorpay.

The world’s second most populous nation has attracted scores of high-profile traders previously 12 years. Sequoia and Accel, each of which have additionally been investing within the South Asian marketplace for over 10 years, introduced new funds lately.

SoftBank, Alpha Wave International and Tiger International have additionally elevated the tempo of their investments in India in recent times. SoftBank invested over $3 billion in India final 12 months alone. Tiger International has invested $6.5 billion within the nation thus far, TechCrunch reported Monday.

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