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VCC Bertelsmann announces India-focused fund of $500M

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Bertelsmann has raised $500 mn for Indian startups. The venture capital company plans to deploy capital across 6-8 businesses every year.

Bertelsmann India Investments, a venture capital firm, has unveiled a $500 million India-focused fund. In addition, suggesting an interest in early-stage investments, the VC firm stated in a statement that it will consider making select Series A investments.

For the time being, Bertelsmann intends to deploy funds across 6-8 enterprises every year.

It intends to prioritize investments in healthtech, corporate tech, the future of work, fintech, agritech, and other industries in 2022 and 2023. According to the announcement, the fund will also keep an eye on disruptive technologies such as Web3 and deeptech, and it wants to build more offices in India and the region.

“Today, mid-stage investment in India and the region has moved into the early growth stage, with several innovative startups constructing such an ecosystem. With over a decade of expertise, we have seen entrepreneurs and firms mature at an early stage. There is no question that the industrial environment is shifting, and we are ready to jump in,” said Pankaj Makkar, managing director of Bertelsmann India.

Bertelsmann India, the strategic investment arm of Germany-based media conglomerate Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA, does not have an India-specific fund and instead invests from its balance sheet. In 2013, the venture capital company began investing in India. Since its inception in 2013, BII has invested in over 17 firms.

Among the current investments are Eruditus, Licious, Shiprocket, Pepperfry, AgroStar, and Lendingkart.

Bertelsmann India is one of India’s few mid-stage venture capital firms.

Other businesses in this category include Iron Pillar and TrueScale Capital, which was founded last year.

Bertelsmann India is mostly sector neutral, however it has a preference for consumer, fintech, education, and logistics. The venture capital company has begun to increase its investments in corporate technology. That includes its stakes in Vymo and Skeps.

Makkar previously told the media that Bertelsmann India has begun to “selectively” make Series A investments, while 80-90 percent of its cash would be allocated to mid-stage (Series B & C) investments, which are the company’s bread and butter.

Skeps’ investment by the firm last year was an example of Series A finance. The venture capital company has begun to increase its investments in corporate technology. That includes its stakes in Vymo and Skeps. It is also interested in deals in the business-to-business (B2B) commerce sector and is “very optimistic” on healthtech.

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