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December 09, 2009

"Capvent keen to seed mid-market PE teams in India"



Varun Sood of Capvent

At a time when the fund-raising environment for Private Equity and Venture Capital funds is difficult across the world even for established groups, Europe- and India-headquartered investment house Capvent is actively scouting for opportunities to invest into India-dedicated PE/VC funds. In an interview to Venture Intelligence, Capvent Co-founder & Managing Partner Varun Sood said the firm was even keen to make seed investments into first-time funds. "We like to be contrarian in our approach," Sood said. "As a house, we are very focused on first- and second-time funds."

Founded in 2000, Capvent invests in the private equity asset class globally with a special focus on Europe, USA, India and China. It has 19 investment professionals in India across its offices in Bangalore and Mumbai, which are headed by Sood and fellow Managing Partner Rohan Ajila. Outside of India, Capvent has offices in Zurich and New York. The firm currently has investments in 14 PE/VC funds operating in India. Capvent runs its pan Asia operations out of India. "We feel Capvent's on the ground presence affords us real insight into markets that require local intelligence. This offers us a competitive edge over investors that are based out of the 'expat cities' of Singapore and Hong Kong," Sood remarked.

While there are far fewer teams attempting to raise capital currently, an encouraging trend is the emergence of smaller groups which are going in for specialisation (for example, funds focussed on the Education industry, etc.), Sood said in the interview. While its sweet-spot is mid-market growth PE funds, Capvent would also consider select VC opportunities.

(The detailed version of the interview will appear in the Venture Intelligence PE Roundup 2009 report. For more information on Capvent, visit http://www.capvent.com)