SAIF Partners has plans to raise $400 million for its new India-dedicated fund, according to a filing with US securities market regulator SEC. SAIF has been an early backer of unicorns (startups valued at over $1 billion), like mobile payments major Paytm and online food delivery platform Swiggy.
The new fund is about 15% larger than its previous three funds, which have consistently been $350 million, as the firm continues to actively back startups despite the Covid-19 pandemic. “For SAIF Partners, fund-raising typically does not take long given their track record. They will look to close the fund by end of the year,” said one of the sources briefed on the matter. A SAIF spokesperson declined to comment when contacted by TOI.
SAIF has closed about half a dozen investments this year across sectors like consumer brands, software, education technology and financial technology. These companies include energy bar maker Yoga Bar, sales tool Zomentum, coding classes player Camp-K12, and Jodo, which allows users to pay school fees in instalments.
Some of the other notable companies in the portfolio of SAIF, which has over $1 billion in assets under management, include home services company UrbanClap, education tech startup Unacademy, baby care products retailer FirstCry and entertainment ticketing startup BookMyShow. The latest development comes as venture capital investments have started bouncing back, after dropping earlier this year due to pandemic.
In the July-September quarter, venture capital firms invested $2 billion across 137 deals — up from the $1.4 billion across 134 deals in the April-June quarter, according to data from Venture Intelligence. But for the nine months of 2020, total investments are still down by 18% to $6.5 billion as compared $7.9 billion during the same period in 2019.
SAIF’s new fund comes at a time when several other large new funds have also been closed, highlighting that despite Covid shrinking the global economy, capital flows in startups is not expected to dramatically slow down. TOI reported earlier in July that Sequoia has raised $1.4 billion for India and Southeast Asia, making it the largest pool of capital for startups dedicated to the region. Lightspeed also raised $275 million for its third India-focused fund.