New Delhi, Delhi, India: LC Nueva Investment Partners, a partnership between Singapore headquartered Lighthouse Canton and Delhi based Nueva Capital, has achieved a first close of INR224.8Cr / USD$30Mn on its debut fund that focuses on pre-series A and series A deals in India. LC Nueva Alternative Investment Fund (AIF) has received strong support from global investors and single-family offices, having launched in February 2022 it has reached the first closure in record time. 25% of the capital in the AIF is being contributed by the Investment Manager and key stakeholders of Lighthouse Canton, showcasing high conviction and skin in the game. Plans for a final closure towards the end of May 2022.
LC Nueva Investment Partners, a partnership between Singapore headquartered Lighthouse Canton and Delhi based Nueva Capital, today announced that it has achieved a first close of INR224.8Cr / USD$30Mn on its venture capital (VC) fund, LC Nueva AIF.
“India’s private market has been growing exponentially – a robust ecosystem that we are proud to be working closely with our investors and founders alike to mobilize capital for purpose.” Commented Sumegh Bhatia, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director for LC Capital India, the Indian arm of Lighthouse Canton. “We have had a strong reception from our global investors for the fund since it was launched in February and we are targeting to raise INR 300Cr / USD$40Mn in total. We have partnered with Nueva Capital on this strategy, and the investment team consists of private equity industry veterans Sohil Chand and Ashish Chand. Their in-depth knowledge in both investments and the Indian startup scene is what makes this fund so unique.”Sohil Chand is founding partner and chief investment officer for LC Nueva AIF. He was previously head of India for Norwest Venture Partners, a USD$10Bn global early to late-stage venture and growth equity investor, and earlier helped set up the private equity business for Goldman Sachs in India. The industry veteran has sizeable deal experience with key investments in National Stock Exchange, Thyrocare, Snowman Logistics, IRB Infrastructure, Swiggy, Cremica, OnMobile, and more.
Commenting on the Fund’s strategy and investment approach, Sohil said, “We have strong conviction in the startups we are empowering, and hence 25% of LC Nueva AIF’s fund commitment will come directly from the sponsors. Together with Lighthouse Canton, we are investing in ambitious future winners, scaling the vision of these emerging businesses to shape the future of India’s startup ecosystem. We are excited to be working with Lighthouse Canton and their international network of investors and partners, to give Indian startups the necessary step up and spotlight they deserve on the global stage.”
Over the Fund’s 8-year lifespan, LC Nueva AIF will invest in 25 – 30 Indian companies at the pre-series A and series A stages. The investment committee’s approach is sector-agnostic, with a proclivity towards health-tech, consumer-tech, fintech & education-tech businesses, steering clear of capital-intensive businesses. A sizable part of the fund will be reserved to back the winners in the subsequent rounds.
In the last decade, internet penetration in India has grown rapidly and it now has over 700 million users accessing the internet. This digital reach has led to the emergence of technologically enabled businesses solving conventional problems in innovative ways.
The Indian startup ecosystem is amongst the top three globally and VC and private equity strategies investing in India have been extremely popular over the past few years. According to a report by IVCA-EY, India startups received USD$2.5bn/Rs. 190bn worth of PE/VC funding in February, which was more than double that from the previous year. Having emerged as one of the most attractive investment opportunities, the sector has seen substantial foreign and domestic venture capital flows into India.
Working with both investors and founders of pre-series A and series-A Indian startups, the fund is uniquely empowering startups. To date the fund has already invested in 17 companies and deployed INR75.75Cr/ USD$10.1Mn capital. Notable investee companies include India’s first pre-owned car leasing subscription service, Pumpumpum; India’s fastest-growing diagnostics and precision medicine company, Redcliffe Lifetech; India’s first men focused intimate hygiene company, Svish; and leading SAAS based company for small merchants to setup an online presence, Dukaan. Each company is put through a rigorous selection process by the investment team. Analyzing each business carefully, the team uses an institutional-level assessment, spending significant time with founders and their management teams to understand their vision and business models, selecting only those who meet their strict criteria.
The venture team has years of experience and a long-standing track record of investing in and nurturing future winners early on in their journeys. Ultimately, the firm sees this as a chance to partner with the founders and their management teams to scale and take their businesses to the next level. While providing companies with the necessary capital, the firm is also actively involved with the founders and their companies as they evolve through their lifecycles. Leveraging its asset management and wealth management business capabilities, Lighthouse Canton’s Founders’ Ecosystem provides founders added value through other venture investments, and business solutions as well as personal wealth management services. From providing capital and strategic insights through their growth phases, through to mentorship and providing operational and management support as they seek further funding and prepare for exit rounds; the firm is committed to helping these companies and their founders enhance performance and plan for their personal and business legacies.