Prime Venture Partners has brought on board veteran venture capital investor Ashish Gupta as partner emeritus, the Bengaluru-headquartered early-stage venture capital firm announced on Wednesday.
Gupta, who is based in the US, was one of the co-founders of Helion Venture Partners, one of India’s first homegrown venture capital firms. In his role at Prime Venture Partners, Gupta will be part of the investment committee, while also serving as a mentor and advisor to its overall portfolio, an official statement said.
“Our success is largely dependent on our abilities to choose the right entrepreneur and the right opportunities. To that end, the quality of decision-making is something we can always improve, and get in people, who have different insights and experiences. We have been really fortunate to have a longstanding relationship with Ashish for the better part of 30 years,” Sanjay Swamy, founding partner of Prime Venture Partners, told ET.
Gupta, who holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Stanford University, and a BTech from IIT Kanpur, is the second partner emeritus named by the firm which had earlier brought on board Raj Mashruwala, with a similar designation a few years back.
“The Indian startup ecosystem is in a very vibrant phase of its evolution and Prime is well-positioned to be a key player in the building of Digital India. I’ve known all the partners, Shripati, Amit, Sanjay and Raj for the better part of the last 30 years and am delighted to be working closely with them in helping shape Prime’s next phase of growth,” Gupta said in the official statement.
Gupta, who prior to starting his career as a venture capital investor, was one of the co-founders of Junglee, an online discovery and price comparison website, which was later acquired by Amazon, and was used as a preliminary launchpad for the Seattle-based online retail giant’s entry into India.
Gupta, a prolific angel investor, has served on the boards of Ezetap, Pubmatic, Simplilearn, SMSGupshup and Naukri, while some of his past investments include Qwikcilver, which was acquired by acquired by Pinelabs, Daksh, which was acquired by IBM, MakeMyTrip, Upwork, Perfios, and Redbus, according to the prepared statement.
“Ashish has got fabulous experience…So, it was a unique opportunity, where someone we know, trust and deeply respect, and we were delighted to bring him on board,” Swamy said.
Founded in 2012 by Swamy, Shripati Acharya and Amit Somani, Prime Venture Partners is currently investing out of its third fund, a $72 million investment vehicle that it raised in 2018. Prior to that, the early-stage investment firm, which typically invests between $500,000-$1.5 million, had raised two funds – $8 million in 2012, followed by a $46 million fund in 2015.
The fund, which does a deal a quarter, or about 4-5 investments a year, has about 11 investments from its current fund, according to Swamy. “We are right in the middle of Fund-3. We are finalising 2-3 fresh investments, and have been more active during the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.