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April 29, 2011

The 'what's Doordarshan?' Generation

Business Standard has an interview with Dheeraj Sinha, regional planning director, Bates 141 and author of Consumer India: Inside the Indian Mind and Wallet. In his book, Sinha puts Indian consumers into three segments: partition generation, transition generation and no-strings generation, and gives an account of what marketers and advertisers need to keep in mind to draw the attention of each of these consumer segments.

Extract from the interview:
The Indian opportunity today has three distinct segments with their own worldviews and consumption desires. The first segment is that of people who were born in the times of partition/independence of India. This is the partition generation, who are in the age band of 45-65 years. While the partition generation is held back by tradition, they are not holding back when it comes to consumption. The partition generation consumes categories rather than brands. But many of today’s lifestyle categories are new for them. Thus, what they want is simply a membership in the category rather than a choice of brands. Access brands that offer access to certain categories with high value but a plain imagery; so, do a good job of selling functionality to this generation.

The second segment is the transition generation, who are in the age group of 25-44. They were born during the times of India’s economic liberalisation. They have one foot in the pre-liberalisation era and another in the post-liberalisation era. The transition generation is learning to let go. Letting go means they are increasingly willing to make discretionary expenditures. This is the most targeted age range for brands across product categories. The transition generation is relishing the joys of consumption because it’s supported by rising household income. The marketer can use credit/debit to sell anything to the transition generation, that ties in a little bit of goodness with a little of indulgence. For instance, pediatric medicines with chocolate flavour, or something similar would work well for this generation.

The third segment is the no-strings generation (age group: 15-24), those who are born post liberalisation. Unlike the partition generation, which seeks stability in everything, from jobs to relationships to brands, the no-strings generation thrives on discontinuity and finds stability boring. For this segment, ‘bad is the new good’. The idea of morality for this generation is shifting. What’s good or bad is being determined not by the society, but by what works for them personally. In these times of blurring boundaries, one of the biggest challenges for brands is to realise that the no-strings generation will not readily identify with a spokesperson whitewashed with goodness. However, a sense of optimism without limits certainly means that this is a generation that spends more easily than, say, the partition generation. Brands would do better by factoring in this segment’s need for many and varied experiences.

Arun Natarajan is the Founder & CEO of Venture Intelligence, the leading provider of data and analysis on private equity, venture capital and M&A deals in India. View free samples of Venture Intelligence newsletters and reports. Email the author at

New Fund Alert: Matrix Partners India closes $300-M 2nd fund

From the Press Release:

Matrix Partners India today announced it has closed a $300 million second fund. With the closing of this fund the firm has $600 million under management across two funds. The firm will continue to make early and growth stage investments up to $30 million in companies focused on the Indian domestic market in the internet/mobile, education, financial services, healthcare and infrastructure services sectors. The firm currently has a portfolio of 16 companies including Muthoot Finance which recently closed its IPO offering as well as TreeHouse Education which has filed for an IPO. In both Muthoot Finance and TreeHouse Education, the firm is the first institutional investor and largest institutional shareholder.

“We are excited about the continued support from our limited partners for our proven strategy of early and growth stage investing across our focus sectors. We intend to continue to keep investing behind outstanding entrepreneurs with the passion for building excellent businesses.” said Avnish Bajaj, Managing Director, Matrix India.

"The closing of our second fund is a significant milestone in our journey to build India’s preeminent investment firm. We appreciate the strong support of our marquee limited partner base and look forward to partnering with category defining companies in the Indian market.” said Rishi Navani, Managing Director, Matrix India.

About Matrix Partners India:
Matrix Partners India is an investment firm with $600 million under management. The firm invests in companies targeting the Indian domestic market with a sector independent investment strategy focused on generating exceptional returns. The firm invests up to $30 million in a company depending on its stage of development and has invested in several category leading companies including Muthoot Finance (gold loan NBFC), Tree House Education (preschools and K-12 school management), BSFL/BASIX (microfinance institution), Chetas Control Systems (water metering solutions), Center for Sight (eye care chain), FIITJEE (engineering test preparation company) and Ver se Innovation (mobile classifieds) amongst others. Matrix Partners has a global network of funds investing in the US, China and India with $3 billion under management. Further information is available at

April 15, 2011

Profile of aroma chemicals maker Privi Organics

From the Times of India profile of the company which recently raised capital from StanChart Private Equity:
Two years into the business and Privi had not yet created a sufficient client base, pushing it to the verge of shutting down. In 1994, its losses eroded its equity and the company's prime creditor, State Industrial & Investment Corporation Of Maharashtra (SICOM), served a notice to take over.

"We briefly thought of quitting and trying something else," Rao says. "But then we decided to fight it out rather than accept failure." Those days, the big players in aroma chemicals were Bush Boake Allen, Reckitt & Colman of India, Hindustan Lever, Hindustan Polyamides and Fibres, and Tata Oil Mills Company (Tomco).

The partners did their best to turn around the business. They brought down operational costs, switched to synthetic raw materials and negotiated for cost-effective order sizes. The firm also changed its strategy. "Rather than just catering to the incense sticks market, we targeted attar, detergent and soap makers. We rolled out amberfleur (woody notes), sandalwood and dihydromyrcenol (citrus). And our efforts began to pay off," Rao says.

Today, exports contribute 70% to Privi's Rs 370-crore turnover and its clients include Procter & Gamble, Henkel and flavouring and fragrance manufacturers such as Givaudan, Symrise and Firmenich - all based in Europe.

Arun Natarajan is the Founder & CEO of Venture Intelligence, the leading provider of data and analysis on private equity, venture capital and M&A deals in India. View free samples of Venture Intelligence newsletters and reports. Email the author at

April 14, 2011

VC Interview: Kanwal Rekhi of Inventus Capital

Venture Intelligence recently spoke to Kanwal Rekhi of early stage investing focused Indo-US cross-border VC firm Inventus Capital. The firm, which started investing in late 2008, has been among the most active VC investors in India recently. In early January, Inventus also exited one of its portfolio companies - IT services firm Sierra Atlantic via sale to Hitachi Consulting. The firm’s current portfolio includes online bus ticketing firm RedBus, digital marketing services firms Sokrati and Vizury Interactive, wireless app platform provider Genwi, and online personal financial services firms FundsIndia and Credit Sesame.

Venture Intelligence: Can you tell us what Inventus’ key differentiators are when it comes to identifying investments? Maybe you can highlight them using some recent investments.

Kanwal Rekhi: As a small fund, we are very focused on getting into companies in the early stage and typically put in about $1 million. So, that determines the kind of companies we can do – very capital efficient plays and not sectors that need a lot of capital (like semiconductors, etc). We invest especially in enterprises that can leverage technology to tap into the consumption of middle class Indians, be it India- or US-based companies. The companies must leverage Indian talent or be focused on the Indian market. We are of the view that the Indian technology industry is tightly coupled with the US market, and there is very fluid movement of people and ideas back and forth between both markets.

We basically invest in the entrepreneur. If we aren’t comfortable with the entrepreneur, the deal is a no go.

VI: Will you invest in 2 guys with a PowerPoint?

KR: All of our portfolio companies have had some revenue traction prior to our investment. It is not as if we will not invest in just an entrepreneur and his idea; it’s because we have such a heavy dealflow of companies that have bootstrapped with support from friends and family, have some working technology and early customer traction.

We do not expect proven business models and technology, but we would like to see some level of maturity in the entrepreneurs, which we saw in companies like FundsIndia which was pre-revenue when we invested.

VI: Your recent investments in Sokrati and Vizury seem to suggest that digital marketing services are an area of focus.

KR: Given how the world economy and the way business is done is getting restructured by the Internet and the emergence of India and China, such businesses are naturally of interest.

In Sokrati, we grew very comfortable with the entrepreneurial team. Vizury was bringing a business model from US to India.

VI: A company like Genwi (which offers a development platform for creating apps on mobile platforms like iPhone, Android, etc.) seems to be doing cutting edge work. How do you evaluate such companies?

KR: Magic happens when we can get an entrepreneur who is at cutting edge of technology. The founder of Genwi, PJ Gurumohan who was 29 when we met him, had previously tried and failed with two startups. He had already been bootstrapping Genwi, along with his 20 year old partner Raju Sagiraju, for a year and had developed over 1,000 apps already. But they were charging just a onetime fee of $10 for developing apps and weren’t capitalizing on the demand.

We had some of our contacts in the Internet space play around with the technology. And we checked with Apple and they were very happy with what the team was doing - because what Genwi offered, sped up the app development process. So, we spent time with the entrepreneurs on the pricing and they have now gone to a different plane with over 1,200 apps under their belt and good revenue traction.

VI: In the online personal finance space, you have Credit Sesame in the US and in India, FundsIndia.

KR: Given the indebtedness of the average US consumer, a service like Credit Sesame - which provides tools for consumers to take control of their credit and save money on loans – is a very timely investment. When we bet on them, there was no revenue, now they have $600 million of debt under management. The company has gone on to raise a new round ($6.15 million Series B round led by Menlo Ventures) at 6 times the first round valuation. FundsIndia, on the other hand, advises customers on how to invest their savings, which is more appropriate in the Indian context.

VI: Personally, you are very well known as an entrepreneur who turned into a very successful angel investor. How are you finding your new role as a VC?

KR: When you make changes in your career, you have to re-invent yourself and prove yourself each time. Being a successful entrepreneur does not guarantee that you can become a good angel investor and being a successful angel investor does not translate into becoming a successful VC. As an angel investor, it’s one’s own money that you are betting and there is no fiduciary responsibility. But as a VC, you have to work in a team and convince the LPs.

The full version of the interview appears in the latest issue of the Venture Intelligence India Venture Capital Quarterly Report.

LP Interview: Johanna Klein of ADB

Venture Intelligence recently spoke to Johanna L. Klein, Investment Officer, Capital Markets and Financial Sectors Division of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), who is active in the multilateral development financial institution’s investments into private equity funds across Asian emerging markets.

Venture Intelligence: What is ADB’s outlook on new Private Equity fund investments in India?

Johanna Klein:
Our starting point is that, as a development bank, we should always have some clear value addition in the role we play in private equity. Starting several years ago, there began to be a lot of money from commercial sources going into generic Indian PE funds, so we cut down our investing in sector-agnostic funds and started focusing on niche type funds. Subsequent to that, most of what we have invested in India has been in clean energy and cleantech type of funds. Going forward, apart from cleantech, we will look at the healthcare sector, the education sector, and other “bottom of the pyramid” types of sectors.

VI: How about infrastructure funds?

It’s certainly a sector of interest, but it is hard for us to play a significant role in large-scale infrastructure funds, given our typical bite size. We also have an in-house division that does direct investments in infrastructure

VI: How do returns from Indian PE funds compare to those in other markets?

JK: My feeling is that Indian funds have performed acceptably, particularly since they have been able to survive multiple large-scale events - like the 2001 and the recent financial crisis and various other upheavals. But it has taken a while to provide returns due to these macro events. In our portfolio, the China funds that have done really well are the ones that have timed the market very effectively and have gotten a few really big wins on IPOs to generate outsized returns. The Indian funds haven’t got their returns on the same scale; but they have gotten consistent returns through local IPOs and trade sales.

VI: What is your view of corporate houses floating PE funds?

JK: Sponsored funds and funds backed by financial institutions have a lot of scope for issues and conflicts of interest. When a big conglomerate has private equity as one of their operations, the value proposition they articulate to investors is always really good: they promise a lot of synergies and so on. But, in reality, it’s difficult to manifest that advantage, and overall I’m wary of such funds.

VI: What are the key challenges before Indian PE funds?

JK: I don’t think there are that many issues. In one instance, a fund manager had to make use of the Indian legal system to resolve a situation with a portfolio company. Eventually, they made it through, but the take away was that it was slow. Hopefully the legal process will become more nimble in the future.

The full version of the interview appears in the latest issue of the Venture Intelligence India Private Equity Roundup Quarterly Report.

Investing Lessons from Indiana Jones

In his latest blog post, "Super LP" Chris Douvos extracts lessons for investors from Indiana Jones quest for the Holy Grail (in the movie, The Last Crusade).
This challenge is a warning that bad things can befall overconfident people. A mentor of mine once told me that a great analyst has no ego; one must be wary of confirmation bias and remember that big ideas often come from unexpected places. With each passing day, he concluded, you’ll realize that you know less and less, for there is no business as constantly humbling as investments.

...Indeed, sometimes investors just need to take a breath and step into the abyss, knowing that their preparation was sound. After all, risk isn't a dirty word; investing is about optimizing discomfort, and we spend our lives seeking appropriate compensation for the risks that we do take (at least those that can’t be mitigated). If you never take the leap, the Grail will forever be out of your reach.

...It's true that the courageous investor must follow an adventuresome path in search of outsized returns. After all, the benefit of being right and alone with some frequency can generate outsized overall returns, but blazing a pioneering trail comes at the risk of being wrong and alone, as well. And for those of us who focus on long-dated asset classes, we, unfortunately, don't get the benefit of a knight that nods approvingly as we write investment memos. Only in the fullness of time will we know whether we chose wisely . . .
Arun Natarajan is the Founder & CEO of Venture Intelligence, the leading provider of data and analysis on private equity, venture capital and M&A deals in India. View free samples of Venture Intelligence newsletters and reports. Email the author at

April 13, 2011

Deal announcement: Allsec acquires Retreat Capital Management

Technology Holdings' client, Allsec Technologies, has completed the acquisition of Retreat Capital Management, a full service mortgage BPO company headquartered in Irvine. Technology Holdings was the exclusive advisor on the transaction.

Retreat Capital is an end-to-end provider of loss mitigation and portfolio management services for mortgage lenders, servicers, asset managers and investors. Established by industry professionals with over 25 years in the mortgage and real estate industries, Retreat Capital was created to serve as a single-source solution for reducing costs and mitigating loss at every stage of the mortgage process, from predictive modeling to processing through REO management. Allsec Technologies is a leading Business Process Outsourcing service provider headquartered in Chennai, whose investors include The Carlyle Group.

Allsec's stock exchange announcement is here

For additional information, please contact:

Vivek Subramanyam
Managing Director
+1 (646) 645-0467

Nirish Mathias
Managing Director
+1 (973) 368-3546

April 12, 2011

Does the Headstong deal herald more IT-BPO consolidation?

In the context of the recent acquisition of Capital Markets focused IT Services firm Headstrong by BPO giant Genpact, former Infy sales head Basab Pradhan, has an interesting post suggesting that the answer is yes.
Genpact had to bulk up its IT Services business. IT Services offers both higher margin and higher growth. Both of which Genpact has not been able to deliver, at least to the satisfaction of investors whose expectations are benchmarked to the early days of the IT Services industry.

...A few months back I had written about Cognizant’s rumored interest in Genpact. Eventually, nothing came of it. But I thought that that would have been a very good combination. Sort of a dream team – the fastest growing services company and the best BPO company.

...This is a good time for bankers in the Offshore services industry. More transactions are to be expected. Watch this space.

Arun Natarajan is the Founder & CEO of Venture Intelligence, the leading provider of data and analysis on private equity, venture capital and M&A deals in India. View free samples of Venture Intelligence newsletters and reports. Email the author at

April 11, 2011

Press Release: CCCL CEO R Sarbeswar to deliver Entrepreneurship lecture at IIT-Madras

Interactive lecture to feature as part of research firm Venture Intelligence’s “Entrevista” series

Venture Intelligence, India’s leading research service focused on Private Equity/Venture Capital and M&A deal activity, has partnered with IIT Madras’ C-TIDES, to produce multimedia recordings of interactions with successful Indian entrepreneurs from across sectors. Branded as ‘Entrevisa’, the interactions in this series will be available for free and downloadable in audio (mp3 “podcasts”) and streaming video formats from the Entrevista website at

As part of the partnership, Venture Intelligence and IIT Madras propose to invite, on a regular basis, successful entrepreneurs from across the country to deliver interactive lectures at the IIT campus. Mr. R Sarabeswar, Chairman & CEO of leading construction services firm, Consolidated Construction Consortium Ltd., will deliver the first such lecture at the Department of Management Studies, IIT Madras on Friday, April 15, 2011 (7.30 pm to 9.00 pm).

“The main objective of Entrevista is to create a single point archive for the best entrepreneurial thought leadership content for the benefit of budding entrepreneurs in India,” said Arun Natarajan, CEO of Venture Intelligence. "At IIT-Madras, we have been observing and encouraging the rising interest in entrepreneurship among our students and faculty in recent years. We are therefore happy to associate with the Entrevista initiative which aims to disseminate a realistic view of entrepreneurship in the Indian context and examine various business models in-depth," remarked Professor Job Kurian, Dean of the Centre for Industrial Consultancy and Sponsored Research (IC&SR) of IIT Madras.

Interested members of the media can register for the April 15 program by contacting Varatharajan at media@ventureintelligence or +91-44-4218-5180.

About CCCL & Mr. R Sarbeswar

Consolidated Construction Consortium Limited (CCCL) is a publicly listed, ISO-certified company with a turnover of around Rs. 18.41 billion. CCCL’s services encompass Construction, Engineering, Procurement, and Project Management. The company has been involved in projects ranging from IT Parks, Biotech Parks, Resorts and Hotels, Commercial, Industrial & Institutional structures and Infrastructure facilities. The company’s various divisions span Mechanical and Electrical Division (M&E), Consolidated Interiors Limited (CIL), Building Products Division, Information Technology Department (Yugasoft), Software Design Division (Yuga Design), Noble Consolidated Glazing Limited (Glazing Solutions). Further, CCCL’s Specialty projects involving Precast Pre-stressed Structures, Pre-engineered structures and Shell Structures are remarkable for their innovative and revolutionary application of technology and expertise. It has offices in Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Delhi, Kolkata, Pune and Trivandrum. It has also recently opened an office in the Middle East marking the beginning of its international operations.

Mr. R. Sarabeswar is CCCL’s Co-founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. He was a gold medallist and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the Regional Engineering College, Trichy, and holds a Management Degree in strategy from London University. Mr. Sarabeswar has over 30 years of experience in the construction sector and has previously worked for Larsen and Toubro Limited, SPIC and the Shobhakshi Group, Saudi Arabia. In 2007, he was awarded the best alumnus award by the Regional Engineering College Thiruchirapalli.

About Venture Intelligence

Venture Intelligence, a division of TSJ Media Pvt. Ltd., is the leading provider of data and information on Private Equity / Venture Capital and M&A deals in India. Its research and analysis is used extensively by financial and strategic investors, the media as well as government/regulatory agencies. Its customers include leading PE / VC Firms, Limited Partners, Investment Banks, Law Firms, HR Services Firms, Corporations and Consulting Firms. For more information on Venture Intelligence, please visit

About IIT-Madras C-TIDES
C-TIDES, the Cell for Technology Innovation, Development and Entrepreneurship Support is responsible for promoting entrepreneurship and related activities in IIT Madras. More information about C-TIDES is available at

April 08, 2011

PE investments vault to $3.3-B in Q1’ 11

Amount invested more than doubles over previous quarter; Median Deal Size jumps to $14.5-M

Private Equity firms invested about $3,296 million across 83 deals in India during the quarter ended March 2011, according to a study by Venture Intelligence (, a research service focused on Private Equity and M&A transaction activity in the country. The amount invested during the quarter was higher than that during the same period last year (which witnessed $2,133 million invested across 81 deals) and over twice that of the immediate previous quarter ($1,515 million across 83 deals). The median size of investments during Q1 ’11 was $14.5 million, compared to $11.5 million in the same period a year ago. (Note: These numbers do not include PE investments in Real Estate.)

The largest PE investment during Q1 ’11 was the Rs.4,500 crore (about $1 billion) commitment by Bain Capital and Singapore’s GIC to Hero Investments, the Hero group holding firm which is to buyout Honda Motors’ 26% stake in listed 2-wheeler maker Hero Honda. This was followed by Apax Partners’ $375 million commitment to iGate to help buyout fellow listed IT Services firm Patni Computers. Other top investments reported during Q1 ’11 included three $200 million commitments - for Hyderabad Airport operator GMR Airport Holdings, road projects firm Isolux Corsan India and non-banking finance firm Indostar Capital Finance.

“The amount invested by PE firms in Q1 2011 was the highest since Q1 2008. This combined with the rising number of exits, successful raising of new PE funds (like the $500 million second fund by Everstone) and the accelerated pace of investments in the manufacturing and infrastructure sectors, indicates strong revival in confidence for deploying long-term PE capital in the country,” noted Mr. Arun Natarajan, MD & CEO of Venture Intelligence.

The IT & ITES industry received the most number of investments during Q1 ’11 (at 21 deals worth $577 million), followed by Manufacturing (13 deals worth $1,087 million) and BFSI (7 deals worth $423 million), the Venture Intelligence analysis revealed. Led by big-tickets investments from infrastructure funds like the 3i India Infrastructure Fund and the SBI-Macquarie fund, the Energy and Engg. & Construction industries attracted the most dollars after Manufacturing and BFSI during Q1’11.

The share of VC type deals (in volume terms) rose to 41% during Q1 ’11 compared to 33% in the corresponding period a year ago. The share of Late Stage deals, at 29% of the PE investments during Q1 ‘11 (58% in value terms), was steady as compared to the same period a year ago. The share of listed company investments (“PIPE” deals) rose to 16% (compared to 11% in Q1 ’10).

Exit Activity

Private Equity firms obtained exit routes for their investments in 14 Indian companies during Q1 ’11, including one IPO (that of PTC Financial Services). This compares to 34 exits (including 7 IPOs) in the same period in 2010 and 38 exits (including 10 IPOs) in the immediate previous quarter. Among notable exits via M&A during the period was the acquisition of publicly listed Patni Computers by fellow IT Services firm iGate, which fetched PE investor General Atlantic $254 million (for its 17.4% stake). Also, UK-based Pearson’s decision to enhance its stake in education services firm TutorVista from 59% to 76% provided a healthy exit route for TutorVista’s VC investors - including Sequoia Capital India, Lightspeed Ventures and SVB - who had invested about $30 million in the firm starting in mid 2006.

“While the correction in the public markets forced a slowdown in the overall pace of exits in Q1 ‘11 compared to the immediate previous quarter, the number of IPO filings by PE-backed companies in Q1 suggests a potentially healthier figure in the months ahead provided the public markets are conducive,” Mr. Natarajan of Venture Intelligence remarked.

Real Estate

Private Equity-Real Estate firms made 10 investments (amounting to US$883 million across 9 deals with disclosed values) during the quarter ended March 2011. The pace of investments during the quarter was lower than that during the same period last year which witnessed 17 investments (with $293 million being invested across 15 deals with disclosed values) and also lower compared to the immediate previous quarter which witnessed 16 deals (with $397 million being invested across 11 deals). South India-based deals account for 5 investments during Q1 ’11 followed by 3 deals in Northern India and 2 in Western India.

PE-RE firms, led by India dedicated ones like Kotak Realty, HDFC Venture, Indiareit and Red Fort Capital, announcing a total of 11 exits during Q1, 2011. This compares to a total of just 8 exits announced during the entire of 2010.

About Venture Intelligence

Venture Intelligence, a division of Chennai, India-based TSJ Media Pvt. Ltd., is the leading source of information on private equity and M&A transactions in India. For more information, please visit

Rajasthan Ventures Invests Rs.15-Cr in PR Packagings

Edited extracts from the press release:

Jaipur-based venture capital firm Rajasthan Ventures (RVCF), through its Rs 150 crores SME Tech Fund, has invested Rs 15 crores in the second round of funding of PR Packagings Ltd.(PRP), a packaging company based in Faridabad. PRP produces high quality folding cartons including printed mono cartons, fluted boxes, pouches, brochures, leaflets etc.

“PRP is serving to best known brands in Electronics, Pharmaceuticals, Cosmetics, Automobile Industries and Food chains. The company is well positioned in northern India and is planning to foray in Flexi Tube Packaging; Seamless and Laminated Tubes” RVCF CEO Girish Gupta said.


The Indian packaging industry has constantly grown in the last few years by approximately 15% year on year. The growth in Indian Flexible Packaging Industry is likely to grow approximately at 18% - 20% over the next five years. The highest demand for packaging and the associated equipment come from the food processing industry and from the pharmaceutical industry. The large growing middle class, liberalization and organized retail sector are the catalysts to growth in packaging.

Leveraging the strong expertise in running a successful packaging business, the company intends to further expand and widen its customer base by enhancing its capacity, exploring new packaging opportunities, widen its product portfolio, consolidate its position and thus be the preferred vendor to all its clients.

April 06, 2011

Deal Alert: StanChart PE invests Rs.110-Cr in Basmati Rice firm Bush Foods

From the Press Release:

Standard Chartered Private Equity (“SCPE”) has invested Rs 1,100 Million (approximately US $ 25 Million) in Bush Foods Overseas Private Limited (“BFL”), one of India’s leading Basmati rice companies. The funding will part finance the expansion of Bush Foods’s state of art fully automated manufacturing and processing facilities in Sonepat, Haryana and also support the company’s long term working capital requirements.

BFL is focused on processing and sale of premium quality Basmati rice. With an emphasis on quality, it has achieved a strong and growing presence in both the export and domestic markets with well established premium brands like, Neesa, Indian Star and Himalayan Crown. The Company’s products are sold in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia including through premier global retail chains such as Westmill Foods, Loblaws, Walmart, Costco, Supersol, Riso Galo s.p.a, Migros Super Markets and Indian retail chains like Reliance Retail, Food Bazaar, Bharti Walmart etc. BFL is the first rice company in India to be accredited with Social Accountability (SA) 8000 and holds several other accreditations. It has recently also launched a presence in the Ready-to-Eat Gourmet Indian food segment with a range of Indian recipe products all of which are marketed under the flagship Neesa brand.

Speaking on the investment, Rahul Raisurana, Managing Director, Standard Chartered Private Equity, said, "The strong demand for basmati rice in both the export and domestic markets presents significant growth opportunities for Indian basmati rice companies. We are delighted to partner with Bush Foods, a leading player in the Basmati rice segment with a premier customer base, robust supply chain, quality products and brands, strengths that are also well recognized by its global customer base.”

Virkaran Awasty, Chairman and Managing Director, Bush Foods, said, “Bush Foods is at an inflection point as it builds on the solid platform and global customer base built over the years to emerge as one of India’s most trusted and reputed basmati rice companies that is well recognized for consistency in quality and shipments. We are delighted to have a global investor like SCPE partner with us at this stage to help propel our growth further”.

About Standard Chartered – leading the way in Asia, Africa and the Middle East

Standard Chartered PLC, listed on London, Hong Kong and Indian stock exchanges, ranks among the top 25 companies in the FTSE-100 by market capitalization. The London-headquartered Group has operated for over 150 years in some of the world's most dynamic markets, leading the way in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Its income and profits have more than doubled over the last five years primarily as a result of organic growth.

For more information on Standard Chartered, please visit

About Bush Foods Overseas Pvt. Ltd.

Bush Foods Ltd was founded in 1992 and has since emerged as one of India’s leading basmati rice companies. The Company has a state-of-the-art fully automated integrated rice mill at Sonepat, Haryana and has several global accreditations to its credit including Social Accountability (SA) 8000, ISO-9001/2000, ISO 22000/2005, BRC Global Standard Food Issue – 5, National program for Organic Products (EU), British Retail Consortium (BRC) and Organic etc. For more information, visit

April 01, 2011

New Fund Alert: Bessemer Ventures to invest 25% of new $1.6 B fund in India

From the Press Release:

Bessemer Venture Partners (BVP), a global investment firm, has announced the closing of Bessemer Venture Partners VIII. BVP VIII is a $1.6 billion venture capital fund that will sustain the firm’s focus on investing in and partnering with innovative, high-growth companies across multiple industries and geographies. Alongside existing BVP limited partners, Bessemer welcomed a select number of leading university endowments, corporations and family offices into BVP VIII as new LPs.

“With BVP VIII, we continue our mission of finding and funding the highest growth startups, wherever they operate,” said BVP partner Ed Colloton. “And we have clearly benefited from an on-the-ground presence in a number of key markets to identify the most talented entrepreneurs. Bessemer is among the first venture capital firms to have built a truly global platform.”

Bessemer, which actively invests in North America, India, Israel, Europe and Latin America, expects to invest roughly a quarter of the new fund in the fast-growing Indian market. BVP opened its offices in Mumbai seven years ago and has since invested in 31 Indian companies, including Shriram EPC, Orient Green Power, IL&FS Transportation Networks and Applied Solar Technologies. As in other markets where BVP is investing, BVP’s India strategy has been to select great entrepreneurs and actively help them build enduring businesses.

Since raising BVP VII in 2007, Bessemer has continued to add talented partners globally, including Steve Kraus in Cambridge, Mass.; Umesh Padval in Menlo Park; and Vishal Gupta, Siddharth Nautiyal and Subramanya “Subu” S.V. in Mumbai.

Bessemer is one of the oldest venture capital firms in the U.S., growing out of steel magnate Henry Phipps’ family holding company, Bessemer Securities, which was founded in 1911 and is still an anchor investor in BVP VIII.

Throughout its history, BVP has backed some of the world’s most talented early stage entrepreneurs, helping them to build their businesses and dominate growing markets. In the last three years, BVP has realized 27 portfolio-company exits, including initial public offerings for BroadSoft, Orient Green Power and Cornerstone OnDemand and M&A exits for Quidsi (sold to, Playdom (Disney), Alnara (Eli Lilly) and Vertica (Hewlett-Packard).

About Bessemer Venture Partners
Bessemer Venture Partners is a global venture capital firm with offices in Silicon Valley, Cambridge, Mass., New York, Mumbai and Herzliya, Israel. One of the oldest venture capital practices in the United States, BVP has partnered as an active, hands-on investor in Ciena, LinkedIn, Celtel, Blue Nile, Skype, Staples, VeriSign and Yelp. More than 100 BVP-funded companies have gone public on exchanges in Canada, India, the U.K. and the United States. Learn more at and