Nexus India Capital launches $100 m VC fund

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MUMBAI: Nexus India Capital has closed a $100 million Venture Capital (VC) Fund to invest in opportunities across media, technology, outsourced services, retail and consumer sectors in India.

The company has invested in five companies to date including Mobile2win – a mobile Value Added Services (VAS) company and DimDim – a web collaboration start-up. Both these companies have received funding of $5 million each. Three other companies in which Nexus India Capital has invested are still to be announced.

Nexus plans to invest in both technology start-ups as well as companies with business models not driven by technology. The funds investors include top tier institutions and strategic family offices from North America, Europe and Asia.

The founders of the fund and its advisory companies include industry veterans and venture investors, Naren Gupta, Sandeep Singhal, and Suvir Sujan. Intel senior executive Bill Davidow is a special advisor to Nexus.

Gupta founded embedded systems software company Integrated Systems Inc. in 1980 and was the President/CEO of the company through the IPO process for 15 years. Integrated Systems later merged with WindRiver Systems, where he serves as Vice Chairman. He also serves on the boards companies such as RedHat and TIBCO. Over the last decade, Gupta has invested in several technology ventures that include Speedera Networks, E-Tek Dynamics, Numerical Technologies and RightNow.

Singhal co-founded the leading Indian Health Care outsourced services company, Medusind Solutions. Prior to Medusind, he founded eVentures India, a VC Fund that invested in companies such as Makemytrip.com, Contest2win.com, Customer Asset (now part of FirstSource), Netmagic, and Mentorix.

Sujan co-founded the e-commerce company Baazee.com, that merged with eBay to form eBay India and has also been an active advisor and angel investor to consumer internet, wireless and retail ventures.

“Innovation in India is going to come from many different sectors and Nexus plans to make investments in innovative early and expansion stage companies led by passionate founders and executives. Our fund size will enable us to work closely with every company where we make an investment, which is what we intend to do,” said Gupta.

“After the first wave of investing in companies based on cost arbitrage, India is finally ready for venture capital in companies driven by innovation. Some of the best employees at companies in India such as Google, Microsoft and Intel are thinking about starting their own companies. Moreover professionals in large Indian corporations and in companies around the world are stepping into Indian entrepreneurial ventures targeting the burgeoning domestic economy. They need risk capital; the timing to back them is now,” added Singhal.

“Smart entrepreneurs realize that they need more than just money. We are successful entrepreneurs who have founded, built and exited companies successfully in the technology, services and consumer arenas. Nexus India Capital truly understands the unique challenges faced by entrepreneurs and hopes to play an active role in helping companies succeed. Our entire team of advisors in India and Silicon Valley is accessible to all the entrepreneurs we back for support on strategy, operations, organizational building, sales, etc,” Sujan pointed out

Davidow concludes, “I’m very excited to be working with talented local investors who have had in-depth business and venture experience. They are in a position to provide significant support to early stage companies.”