Top 10 Venture Capital Firms in India | Best VC Firms of 2021

Souvik Dey Souvik Dey
Dec 24, 2021 13 min read
Top 10 Venture Capital Firms in India | Best VC Firms of 2021

Startup companies need a certain amount of investment for growth. Wealthy investors like to invest their capital in businesses with long-term growth in view. This capital is known as venture capital and the investors are called venture capitalists. The venture capital investment is made when a venture capitalist buys shares of companies and becomes a financial partner of their business.

The data recorded at the end of Q3 2019 states that the top 10 most active Venture Capital firms in India alone contribute to 32% of the total deal count in the startup ecosystem. The Venture Capital investment is often termed as risk capital or patient capital. This is because most VC investing capitals or rather a majority of them harbor tremendous risks of parting from the money invested if the venture doesn't succeed. Besides, the capital coming from the venture capital firms or the VC funds usually need a medium to long term period for the investments to fructify.

The Indian startups secured over $12.1 billion from the venture capital funds in the first 6 months of 2021, which is $1 billion more than the overall funding that they received last year. Venture Capital (VC) investment in India more than doubled from its previous quarterly high of $6.7 billion in Q2 2021 to $14.4 billion during Q3 2021, according to a recent report by KPMG.

In the year 2021, the Indian startups have successfully managed to mop up $36 bn worth of funds and most of them came from the VC funding for startups and private equity investments, which increased by 3X from the earlier year. These funds are not only helping the startups find it easier to raise funds but are also adding gear to the Indian startup ecosystem, thereby making it a prominent and growing entity in the global landscape.

Therefore, raising funds from venture capitalists is the way to go for the Indian startups of now.

Top VC Firms in India -

  1. Sequoia Capital
  2. Accel
  3. Blume Ventures
  4. Elevation Capital
  5. Tiger Global Management
  6. Kalaari Capital
  7. Matrix Partners
  8. Nexus Venture Partners
  9. Indian Angel Network
  10. Omidyar Network India

Features of Venture Capital Investments
Methods of Venture Capital Financing

About Venture Capital

1. Sequoia Capital

VC Firm Sequoia Capital
Founder Donald T. Valentine
Founded in 1972
Deals 245+ (FY20)
Notable Investments Apple, Google, Oracle, Nvidia, GitHub, PayPal, LinkedIn, Stripe, Bird, YouTube, Instagram, Yahoo!, PicsArt, Klarna, and WhatsApp
Key Sectors Agnostic
Stage Early Stage Venture, Late Stage Venture, Seed
Website www.sequoiacap.com

Sequoia Capital is an American venture capital firm, headquartered in Menlo Park, California. Sequoia invests in both public and private companies. Sequoia Capital has invested in over 1000 companies since 1972, the list of which includes big names like Apple, Google, Oracle, Nvidia, Github, and more. It is mainly focused on the technology industry. Sequoia Capital has invested in the companies that now control around $3.3 trillion of combined stock market value. It has assets worth $5.4 billion under management in India and it is spread across seven funds.

Top VC Firm - Sequoia Capital

This VC firm holds a program called the Surge to mentor and invest in companies across Southeast Asia, including India. In every six months, Sequoia shortlists 15 to 20 startups for each cohort and provides a capital investment of $1 Million to $2 Million with participation from other investors.

2. Accel

VC Firm Accel
Founder Jim Swartz, Arthur Patterson
Founded in 1983
Deals 232+
Notable Investments Freshworks, Swiggy, BlackBuck, Bounce, BookMyShow, Flipkart
Key Sectors Agnostic
Stage Early Stage Venture, Late Stage Venture, Seed
Subsidiaries ACCEL PARTNERS LIMITED, Accel Partners Management LLP
Website www.accel.com

Accel, formerly known as Accel Partners, is an American venture capital firm based out of Palo Alto, California, US. The company has its offices in Palo Alto and San Francisco along with operating funds in India, China, and London. Some of the major companies that Accel has funded over the years are Facebook, Flipkart, Atlassian, Slack, Spotify, Etsy, and more.

Venture Capital Firms
Accel - VC Firm

Accel currently has assets of more than $1.6 billion under management. It has closed nearly six funds in India. The company's portfolio of funding Indian businesses includes names like Flipkart, Swiggy, Blackbuck, Cure.fit, and more. The firm’s growth capital investments focus on more developed companies that require a larger amount of capital to expand their business.

Accel is a venture capital firm that concentrates on the following technology sectors: Consumer, Infrastructure, Media, Mobile, SaaS, Security, Customer care services, Enterprise software, and E-commerce.

3. Blume Ventures

VC Firm Blume Ventures
Founder Karthik and Sanjay
Founded in 2010
Deals 124+
Notable Investments Dunzo, Unacademy, Instamojo, Procol, HealthAssure, Milkbasket
Key Sectors Agnostic
Stage Early Stage Venture, Seed
Website www.blume.vc

Blume Ventures is an early-stage and seed-stage venture fund that has its headquarters in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. The company was founded in 2010 as a venture capitalist firm that aims to improve startup financing in India. Blume Ventures primarily focuses on tech companies. The company launched its first micro-VC fund in 2011, becoming the first institutionalized early-stage investor at that time.

Venture Capital in India
Blume Ventures - Top VC Firm

Blume Ventures raised a $41 Million opportunity fund in 2020, which was one of the largest domestic opportunity funds among the Indian venture capital funds designed to invest in best-performing portfolio companies. From this fund, Blume has invested in Series B to D rounds in firms like Unacademy and Servify. The company had nearly three other funds the last one is $102 Million before the COVID-19 pandemic in India. The VC firm has nearly $225 Million total capital under management. Blume Ventures boasts of managing capital amounting to more than $280 million and has backed 150+ startups.


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4. Elevation Capital

VC Firm Elevation Capital
Founder Andrew Yan
Founded in 2001
Deals 100+
Notable Investments Capital Float, Firstcry, Swiggy, IndustryBuying, Aye Finance, Rivigo, Cleartax
Key Sectors Agnostic
Stage Stage Agnostic, Private Equity
Website www.elevationcapital.com

SAIF Partners rebranded as Elevation Capital on October 20, 2020, is a stage and sector agnostic private equity firm in Asia. The firm is headquartered in Gurugram, Haryana, India, and aims to make minor investments in seed-stage, early-stage, and later-stage companies. Elevation Capital (formerly known as SAIF Partners) was started as Softbank Asia Infrastructure Fund (SAIF) in 2001 and with a $400 Million fund where Cisco Systems and Softbank Group were the sole limited partner.

Elevation Capital Logo

When Elevation Capital started as SAIF Partners, it was headquartered in Hong Kong and was focused on China, India, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. In India, the venture capital firm has offices in Bengaluru and Gurugram. Elevation Capital had already invested in the early-stage of companies like FirstCry, Just Dial, MakeMyTrip, Meesho, Paytm, ShareChat, Swiggy, and more. The firm has doubled the investment in Indian firms 2020 into new segments like edtech, health tech enterprise software-as-a-service (SaaS), entertainment, and direct-to-consumer startups.

5. Tiger Global Management

VC Firm Tiger Global Management
Founder Chase Coleman III
Founded in 2001
Deals 97
Notable Investments Urban Company, Flipkart, Moglix, OPEN, Ninjacart, Razorpay
Key Sectors Internet, Software, Consumer, Financial Technology
Stage Growth, Late Stage, Private Equity, Post- IPO
Website www.tigerglobal.com

Tiger Global Management LLC operates as an investment firm that is focused on public and private companies in the global Internet, software, consumer, and financial technology industries. The mission is to generate world-class investment returns over the long term. It builds a unique, global investment platform. They invest in high-quality companies that benefit from powerful secular growth trends and are led by excellent management teams.

Venture Capital Firm in India
Top VC Firm - Tiger Global Management

Tiger Global Management is founded in 2001 and is headquartered in New York, US, and is one of the most global investors in Indian startups that has started investments of around $300 Million. It has backed more than 13 companies, including a $90 Million round in agri-tech startup Ninjacart and a $60 Million infusion in B2B industrial goods marketplace Moglix in the first half of FY19.

The company is said to have invested in more than 442 companies across the globe with 7 designated funds. It has also witnessed 64 exits since its inception in 2001. In India, this VC firm has invested in more than 97 startups. Tiger Global is reported to have raised the highest amount of capital amongst the venture capital firms between 2007 and 2017. In 2020, Tiger Global helped its investors earn around $10.4 billion, which is more than any other hedge fund on the annual list of London fund-of-funds firm LCH Investments' top 20 managers.

Razorpay had been among one of the companies, which includes Urban Company, Flipkart, Moglix, and more that Tiger Global Management had invested. In the first half of 2019, Tiger Global Management made its founder, Coleman, the top-earning US hedge fund manager in 2020 where the company had mopped in around $3 billion in fees and gains on investments.


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6. Kalaari Capital

VC Firm Kalaari Capital
Founder Vani Kola
Founded in 2006
Deals 92
Notable Investments Cashkaro, Cure.fit, WinZO, Jumbotail, Milkbasket, Myntra, Snapdeal
Key Sectors Agnostic
Stage Early Stage
Website www.kalaari.com

Kalaari Capital, founded in 2006 in Bengaluru by Vani Kola. It focuses on technology-related companies in India. Till now it has made more than 92 investments across 3 funds and witnessed more than 15 exits from companies like Myntra and Snapdeal. It has also made a partial exit from Zivame.

Venture Capital Firm in India
Kalaari Capital - Top VC Firm in India

Kalaari Capital manages $650 Million in assets under management. It boasts of a strong advisory team in Bangalore investing in the early stage. Kalaari is passionate about investing in entrepreneurs who are poised to be tomorrow's global leaders. This firm had funded $290 Million in 2015, which was the largest fund by an Indian VC at that time.

7. Matrix Partners

Vc Firm Matrix Partners
Founder Paul J. Ferri
Founded in 1977
Deals 80
Notable Investments Avail Finance, Vogo, DailyNinja, Stanza Living, MoEngage
Key Sectors Agnostic
Stage Early Stage Venture, Seed
Website www.matrixpartners.com

Matrix Partners is a US-based private equity investment firm focused on venture capital investments. The firm invests in seed and early-stage companies in the United States and India. It mainly concentrates on the software, communications, semiconductors, data storage, Internet, or wireless sectors. Matrix has invested in Apple Computer, Alteon WebSystems, and Office Club. It is said to have nearly $4 Bn as assets under management (AUM). The company has invested in more than 549 companies throughout the world with its second fund. Online gaming platform Zupee raised $10 Million in a funding round led by US-based growth equity firm WestCap Group and existing investor Matrix Partners India.

Venture Capital Firm - Matrix Partners

The firm has also noted 120 successful exits from companies like HubSpot and Oculus. The firm entered India back in 2006 under the leadership of general partners Avnish Bajaj and Rishi Navani.

8. Nexus Venture Partners

VC Firm Nexus Venture Partners
Founder Sandeep Singhal
Founded in 2006
Deals 80
Notable Investments WhiteHat Jr, Delhivery, Rapido, Unacademy, Druva, Jumbotail, Bolo App, Pratilipi, Zomato
Key Sectors Agnostic
Stage Early Stage Venture, Seed
Website www.nexusvp.com

Nexus Venture Partners was founded in 2006. Silicon Valley and Mumbai-based venture capital firm, Nexus Venture Partners is the first India-US venture fund. The company has grown to be a popular venture capitalist firm that has helped a list of companies to raise funds like WhiteHat Jr., Rapido, Delhivery, Zomato, and more.

Venture Capital Firm in India
Nexus Venture Partners - VC Firm

The firm makes investments in early-growth stage companies with an average ticket size of $500K-$10 Million. The firm had raised $100 Million in its first fund. It is said to have more than $1.4 Billion in assets under management as per FY 19. The firm has invested in over 100 startups such as Zomato, Snapdeal, Delhivery, Goodera, etc. Its successful exits include Gluster, Gitter, ElasticBox, MapMyIndia among others.

9. Indian Angel Network

VC Firm Indian Angel Network
Founder Saurabh Srivastava, Padmaja Ruparel, Raman Roy
Founded in 2006
Deals 80+
Notable Investments WebEngage, Wow! Momo, Druva, Box8, Faballey, Little Black Book
Key Sectors Agnostic
Stage Early Stage, Seed
Website www.indianangelnetwork.com

Founded in 2006, New Delhi, India, Indian Angel Network (IAN) is a group of primarily Indian angel investors funding early-stage startups. The group had 450 members from 11 countries in 2017. Indian Angel Network, India's first and Asia's largest angel network brings together successful entrepreneurs and CEOs. The group has invested in companies, such as PregBuddy and SuperProfs. In 2018, one of its founders Padmaja Ruparel was ranked amongst Fortune (magazine)'s list of The Most Powerful Women in India.

VC Firms in India
Indian Angel Network

On Nov 8th, 2020, the Indian Angel Network (IAN) announced the joint with Bangladesh Angels Network (BAN). The aim is to work together to source, cross-refer, and promote linkages in technology-enabled startups in India and Bangladesh to create an enabling environment for venture investing in both ecosystems. IAN is a SEBI-registered early-stage fund with more than 470 investors from around 11 countries. It aims at investing up to $1 Million, with an average ticket size of about $400K-$600K. Furthermore, the company has plans of investing over Rs 100 crores in startup firms based in India across different sectors by the end of 2021.

10. Omidyar Network India

VC Firm Omidyar Network India
Founder Pierre Omidyar
Founded in 2004
Deals 71+
Notable Investments Dailyhunt, Indifi Technologies, 1mg, Needslist, Bounce, Platzi, Pratilipi, Healthkart, Doubtnut, ZestMoney, WhiteHat Education Technology
Key Sectors Agnostic
Stage Early Stage, Seed Stage
Website www.omidyarnetwork.in

Omidyar Network India was founded in 2004. Omidyar Network India is an investment firm focused on social impact. The company looks to invest in startups that are helping to build more inclusive and equitable societies for the benefit of many. It provides grants to nonprofits in the areas of digital identity, education, emerging technologies, financial services, and more. The company started ReSolve Initiative, which is designed to invest in building solutions for two long-standing themes – MSMEs and migrant workers. The initiative will look to entrepreneurs, thought leaders, and policymakers to come together to reframe and resolve the issues plaguing these areas.

Top VC Firm
Omidyar Network - VC Firms in India

It has invested over $300 Million into the Indian startup ecosystem. The company has also decided to invest an additional $350 Million (INR 2486 Cr) in the upcoming five years. By this investment, the social impact investment firm also wants to target 500 Million individuals, who have just started using smartphones.

Methods of Venture Capital Financing

  • Equity financing - Equity financing is the raising of funds by selling the shares of the company. Sometimes companies need money for short-term or long-term investments and the sale of shares proves beneficial in the way that they simply sell their shares or the ownership of the company in return for cash
  • Participating debentures - This is the form of raising capital from the venture capitalists and other companies in different phases with varying interest rates. Here, the initial seed round comes without any interest, however, the successive rounds, as the startup grows, are chargeable at increasing interest rates.
  • Conditional loan - Conditional loans are another way of raising funds that do not carry interest. These loans can be availed by startups and other companies to meet their funding needs but they need to be repaid to the lender in the form of royalty once the company starts making revenue. The rate of royalty varies from (2-15)% based on several factors like the gestational period, external risk, and more.
  • Income note - Income note can be categorized under hybrid financing that is similar to traditional and conditional loans in characteristics when combined. In this form of a fund raised the company for which they have to have both royalty and interest but at comparatively lower rates.
  • Convertible loans - Going by the term, "conditional" loans are the loans that are provided to the startups and other business ventures on the condition that if the loan amount is not paid within a stipulated time they can then convert the same into equity.

The venture capitalist provides the funding knowing that there’s a significant risk associated with the company’s future profits and cash flow. Capital is invested in exchange for an equity stake in the business rather than given as a loan.


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Features of Venture Capital Investments

  • High-risk investment
  • High Tech projects
  • Participation in Management
  • Length of Investment
  • Illiquid Investment
How Venture Capital Industry Works
How Venture Capital Industry Works

FAQs

What is a Venture Capital investment company?

A venture capital investment company is an investment firm that invests in startups and mentors them for their growth. Venture capital firms are generally made up of well-off investors, investment banks, and other financial institutions.

How many Venture Capital firms are there in India?

There are over 800+ venture capital firms in India, as of 2022.

What are the top Venture Capital firms in India?

Some of the top Venture Capital firms in India are:

  • Sequoia Capital
  • Accel
  • Blume Ventures
  • SAIF Partners
  • Tiger Global Management
  • Kalaari Capital
  • Matrix Partners
  • Nexus Venture Partners
  • India Angel Network
  • Omidyar Network India

What are Corporate Venture Capital funds?

Corporate Venture Capital funds can be defined as the corporate funds that the Corporate Venture Capital firms invest directly in the external startup companies.

To list some of the top corporate venture capital firms:

  • Brand Capital
  • Amazon and Amazon Alexa Fund
  • Google and Google Ventures
  • Unilever Ventures
  • Samsung Ventures
  • Intel Capital
  • Microsoft
  • Bain Capital Ventures
  • Reliance Capital
  • Mahindra Partners
  • Experian Ventures
  • Lodha Ventures

How to raise venture capital for a tech startup?

If you are looking to raise venture capital for a tech startup that is on your mind, then here are some decent ideas that you can go for to raise some venture capital:

  • Set out with a powerful business idea
  • Make a unique and foolproof business and revenue model
  • Make a list of the criteria for getting funds from a specific list of venture capitals
  • Know your venture capital firms
  • Prepare your pitch
  • Reach out to prominent venture capital firms politely and confidently Β  Β 
  • Speak well and support your statements with research data
  • Communicate your ideas clearly
  • Establish your value propositions well
  • Wait for the results

What are early stage VC firms?

The early stage VC firms are the venture capital firms that are typically known to support startup businesses in their earlier stages of growth. These stages also include the beginning phase when the projects are still in the market research and development stage. Β 

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