Tiger Global to focus on Indian startups with $3 billion fund

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Tiger Global Management, a New York-based investment firm, is expected to scale up investments in India from its new $3 billion fund called Tiger Global Private Investment Partners XI, according to people aware of the development.

This hedge fund was monumental in shaping the Indian startup ecosystem, is one of the early entrants in the Indian market and known for backing India’s e-commerce giant Flipkart.

Tiger Global’s Lee Fixel was instrumental in India’s biggest corporate deal helping Walmart acquire 77% of Flipkart for a mammoth $16 billion. The fund had invested $1 billion in the e-commerce giant, since 2009 and made more than $3.3 billion from the deal, it still owns about 5% stake in Flipkart.

However, it had stopped making any new investments in the country and was backing its earlier investments like Grofers, NestAway, Freshworks, and Ola, among many others.

“The new fund is expected to close in the next few weeks and India is specifically mentioned as one of the focus areas in the documents,” said one of the persons familiar with the development. The fund will also invest in other geographies including the US and China.

Tiger Global is speculated to be focusing on growth stage companies valued at around $200-250 million in sectors like e-commerce, logistics tech, business-to-business commerce, and digital media/content.

During the period of 2015-16, Tiger Global’s investment in portfolio companies like Ola and Flipkart had raised its India exposure to $2 billion.

Questions over the fate of its investments in Flipkart and Ola forced Tiger Global to re-think its future investments in India, including in portfolio companies. This was also because Fixel believed that India’s Internet economy was not growing as rapidly as that of China’s.

The fresh interest of Tiger Global is a good news for the Indian startup ecosystem that is gaining trust from the international community.

In a recent news, Sequoia Capital had closed its sixth India-focused fund. In July, Ganesh Ventures had partnered with Alibaba-backed eWTP for India focused funds.

Other global investment firms interested in the Indian market include Accel Partners, Blume Ventures, Nexus Venture Partners, Matrix Partners, and Lightspeed Venture Partners, among others.

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