Skip to main content

A well timed play on India

The Evolvence India Fund (EIF), the first independent private equity "Fund of Funds" set up exclusively for investments in India, has been very active in the six months since its launch in June 2005. EIF has already invested into five India-focused funds: GW Capital’s India Value Fund II, Barings (India) Private Equity Fund II, IL&FS India Leverage Fund, IDFC Private Equity (Mauritius) Fund II and UTI Venture Capital's Ascent India Fund.

EIF is sponsored by the Dubai-based Evolvence Capital which started out as a vehicle to manage the personal wealth of nine high net-worth families in the Middle East. EIF received commitments of $73 million at its first closing in September and expects to have its final closing by Q4, 2006, Jay V. Jegannathan, Managing Director of EIF told Venture Intelligence India. The final fund size is expected to be $300 million.



EIF will focus on investments in private equity across all sectors, including real estate and infrastructure development. About 48% of EIF's corpus will go towards PE investments, 30% into real estate and the balance 22% into infrastructure projects. Evolvence also expects to launch a separate real estate focused fund on India during the current year.

While 60% of its investments will go towards India-focused funds, EIF also has the option to co-invest along with these funds. EIF’s Limited Partners (LPs) will also have an opportunity to selectively participate in such co-investments. EIF’s ability to co-invest gives its portfolio funds the confidence to go after investment opportunities that they might not otherwise take up due to the limitation imposed by their fund size.

EIF is headed by Jegannathan (a qualified Chartered Accountant with wide experience in the Middle East) along with co-Managing Director Paresh Thakker (who also has an accounting background and had worked earlier with Infinity Ventures).

Because of its good timing, EIF has been able to invest into the new funds from PE firms with a good track record - like GW Capital and Barings - before they closed. "At about the same time we started out, there were two or three other announcements of fund of funds for India. But EIF is the only one to have moved ahead and capitalize on the opportunity in a timely manner," says Jegannathan.

There's one more angle to EIF's timing advantage: now that it is already invested into some of these top-performing Indian funds which have already closed, foreign investors - who were not able to invest into them directly - now have an opportunity to get exposure to these funds in an indirect manner via EIF.

Given its expertise in accessing money from the Middle East and its opportune timing, EIF has swiftly emerged as a major player in the Indian private equity landscape and one that will be closely watched as a barometer of the industry’s performance.


Arun Natarajan is the Founder of Venture Intelligence India, which tracks venture capital activity in India and Indian-founded companies worldwide. View sample issues of Venture Intelligence India newsletters and reports.

Popular posts from this blog

VC Interview: Shailendra Singh of Sequoia Capital India

In a recent interview to Venture Intelligence, Shailendra Singh discussed some of the firm’s newer investments in the early stage segment including in the online payments space, the progress at a few existing portfolio companies and the active role the firm is playing in helping its portfolio companies scale and succeed in India and globally. Prior to joining the firm in 2006, Singh was a strategy consultant at Bain & Company in New York and before that, an entrepreneur in the digital media industry.

Venture Intelligence: How does Sequoia go about identifying potential early stage investments in India? Is there anything different you are doing today than, say, a couple of years back?

Shailendra Singh: There is a lot more focus on technology investing and early stage investing. In general, as you might remember a few years ago, we were doing primarily growth investing but in the past 18-odd months, we have had a very strong focus on early stage and that’s continuing. In terms of how…

PE Investments down by 36% in Q1'20

Press Release
Private Equity-Venture Capital (PE-VC) firms invested $5.9 Billion (across 164 deals) during the quarter ended March 2020 - 36% lower than the $9.2 Billion (across 249 transactions) during the same period last year, according to data from Venture Intelligence, a research service focused on private company financials, transactions and their valuations. The Q1'20 investments were also 37% lower compared to the immediate previous quarter (which had witnessed $9.4 Billion being invested across 227 transactions). (Note: These figures include Venture Capital investments, but exclude PE investments in Real Estate).
The latest quarter witnessed 14 PE-VC investments worth $100 million or more, down from the 20 such transactions in the same period last year. The largest PE-VC investment announced during Q1’20 was the $567 million takeover of power generation company RattanIndia Power by Goldman Sachs and Varde Partners. The second largest investment was SoftBank Vision Fund…

Ambit tops League Table for Transaction Advisors to Private Equity deals in 2019

Ambit Corporate Finance topped theVenture Intelligence League Table for Transaction Advisor to Private Equity Transactions for the year 2019. Ambit advised PE deals worth $2.4 Billion (across 4 qualifying transactions) during the period. Citi ($1.1 Billion across 2 deals) and Avendus ($969 million across 12 deals) took the second and third spot. Edelweiss Financial Services ($758 million across 9 deals) and PwC ($708 million across 15 deals) completed the top five in 2019. 

The Venture Intelligence League Tables, the first such initiative exclusively tracking transactions involving India-based companies, are based on value of PE and M&A transactions advised by Financial and Legal Advisory firms.
Ambit Corporate Finance advised the $1.9 Billion buyout of Pipeline Infrastructure from Reliance Industriesby Brookfield Asset Management and the IFC and I Squared Capital-backedCube Highways' acquisition of Delhi-Agra Toll Road from Reliance Infrastructure (Reliance ADAG). Citi advise…

PE investments in 2018 crosses $33-B to set new all-time high

Big Ticket investments in consumer apps Swiggy & Byju’s dominates year-end activity, even as investments in Core Sectors slow down
Private Equity (PE) investments in India rose to their highest ever figure of $33.1 billion in 2018 (across 720 transactions), according to data from Venture Intelligence (http://www.ventureintelligence.com), a research service focused on private company financials, transactions and their valuations. While PE investments have already surpassed the previous high - $24.3 Billion across 734 deals in 2017 - in the first nine months of 2018, the mega investments in Consumer Internet & Mobile startups such as Swiggy and Byjus towards the year-end, helped the 2018 total vault by 36% year-on-year. (Note: These figures include Venture Capital investments, but exclude PE investments in Real Estate.) The year witnessed 81 PE investments worth $100 million or more (accounting for 77% of the total investment value during the period), compared to 47 such transac…

"Leveraged stock purchase led Arvind Rao to go astray": Forbes India

Forbes India has an article on the series of events leading to the recent controversial exit of Arvind Rao, Co-founder & CEO of listed Mobile VAS firm OnMobile.

On November 23, 2010, Arvind Rao, the 53-year-old co-founder and CEO of OnMobile, bought approximately 6 lakh shares of his company from the open market, representing a little over 1 percent of the company’s total shares....At Rs 277 a share, he had to pony up nearly Rs 16.5 crore to acquire them....So he went ahead and borrowed money to buy the shares, thinking nothing of the interest it entailed or the fact that he’d need to put up nearly half his existing shareholding as collateral...OnMobile’s shares continued to fall from those levels, while Rao’s interest payments ballooned.

...Motivated by OnMobile’s growth all these years, he had never paid much attention to his salary, most of which went towards the monthly rental on his sea-facing apartment in Mumbai and his BMW 7-Series, both paid directly by the company. He reque…