India's Chiratae Ventures plans to raise $600 million to bet on tech - sources

·2-min read
FILE PHOTO: Employees work on their laptops at the Start-up Village in Kinfra High Tech Park in Kochi

By M. Sriram

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Tech-focused Indian venture capital firm Chiratae Ventures is planning to raise $600 million to boost investments in the country's booming technology startups, two sources with direct knowledge told Reuters.

Foreign and domestic investors are increasingly making huge bets on Indian startups, many of which are becoming "unicorns" - with a valuation exceeding $1 billion - and targeting stock market debuts.

Chiratae has already invested $950 million in companies over the last 15 years. The latest bet will take its managed assets to more than $1.5 billion.

In the coming months, it will raise two funds - a $400 million vehicle for new investments, and a $200 million so-called opportunities fund for investing in its existing top-performing portfolio companies, the sources said.

They declined to be named as the plans are private. Bengaluru-based Chiratae did not respond to a request for comment.

Investors in Chiratae's funds will comprise domestic and international high net worth individuals, family offices and institutions, the sources said.

"A large fund will help Chiratae to invest in capital intensive sectors like electric mobility," said one of the sources.

Chiratae was among early-stage investors in the now Walmart Inc-owned online fashion retailer Myntra and Indian eyewear company Lenskart, which is backed by SoftBank.

It competes with American investors like Sequoia Capital and Accel in India, which are also eyeing the digital and technology space.

On Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India has the world's fastest growing start-up ecosystem where "new unicorns are coming up every few weeks".

Recent start-ups whose valuations have exceeded $1 billion include grocery delivery firm Dealshare and HR software provider Darwinbox.

Indian startups raised a record $35.1 billion in 2021, and have already raised $10.5 billion between January and March, according to Venture Intelligence.

Industry sources say investors continue to be bullish on the space despite recent stock market turbulence that hit hard some newly listed tech companies.

(Reporting by M. Sriram in Mumbai; Editing by Aditya Kalra and Jan Harvey)

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