The Indian unit of Accel Partners, the Silicon Valley venture investor in Facebook Inc. and Dropbox Inc., has raised its fourth fund for the country, looking for the next Indian successes in areas including ecommerce and big data analytics.
Accel India has backed companies such as Flipkart, today India’s largest online shopping company that may not be too far away from an IPO, and Mu Sigma, a big data analytics provider to customers such as MasterCard Inc.
“We are announcing our new fund, Accel India IV, a $305 million fund that like prior funds will invest in very early stage companies where we partner closely with India-based entrepreneurs to help build their businesses from the earliest days,” Accel said in a blog post on Tuesday.
As China’s economy slows, and India’s improves gradually, investors are betting the subcontinent is both a promising and safe destination. A growing domestic market for wireless Internet-based services is also helping product startups make headway in a country hitherto known only for its increasingly commoditized IT outsourcing services.
Facebook Inc., Yahoo Inc. and Twitter Inc. have all acquired grown-in-India startups, raising the profile of the country’s growing ecosystem for innovation. On the other hand, U.S. based startups are looking to expand their operations in India, taking advantage of the large software talent pool in hubs such as the southern city of Bangalore.
Accel’s fund “will also continue to selectively pursue growth equity opportunities in the most promising technology companies in India,” covering consumer, enterprise software, mobile and healthcare businesses, according to the post.
“The Indian startup ecosystem has matured considerably since Accel started investing in India in 2005,” Subrata Mitra, a partner at Accel India, said in the post. The maturity is also visible in the some of the exits among the venture capital firm’s portfolio investments.
These include apparel seller Myntra, which was acquired by Flipkart, TaxiForSure, a rideshare app company in Bangalore that larger Mumbai-based rival Ola Cabs acquired for $200 million. Virident Systems, a California-based computer storage maker that was acquired in 2013 by Western Digital, was also a company that had received early funding from Accel India and other investors.