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High-Stakes: Lightspeed India Partners

High-Stakes is a unique series that focuses on dissecting the investments of venture capital and private equity firms to gain insights into the portfolio of companies they’ve invested in and the industries they focus on. In this edition of High-Stakes, we’ll be focusing on Lightspeed India Partners (LSIP). 

Lightspeed has been investing in India since 2007 and has offices in the northern city of New Delhi and the southern city of Bangalore. Lightspeed has a global presence spanning Silicon Valley, Europe, China, Southeast Asia, and Israel. 

It invests in early and growth-stage technology startups with a strong base of operations in India, targeting India or global consumer and enterprise markets. 

Team

Some of the members of the LSIP team: 

Akshay Bhushan– Partner

Prior to joining Lightspeed, Akshay was a senior leader and a founding member of the corporate development team leading strategic investments & acquisitions for India’s largest e-commerce platform- Flipkart. The Wharton grad co-founded the shopper engagement platform Whalelogix and was also a consultant at Bain. Akshay was also part of the early-stage investment team at Accel Partners India.

Amit Mehra– CFO

Amit’s journey with Lightspeed began in 2018 after more than 15 yrs of successfully leading McKinsey’s finance function in India. Amit is a top-ranking Chartered Accountant with a proven history in leading and transforming finance functions. 

Bejul Somaia– Partner

Prior to joining Lightspeed in 2008, Bejul was the Co-CEO of Twiga Fiberglass and before that, he was the founder and chairman of Openlist. He earned his bachelor’s degree from LSE and has completed his MBA from Harvard.

Analysis

Country-wise classification of the total funding amount

A total of 67 investments across 44 startups have been considered for this analysis, and the research is based on data from Crunchbase. The startups included are those for which adequate information exists, and this is by no means an exhaustive list of all the investments made by LSIP. The total funding raised indicates the total amount of funding raised by startups from LSIP and various other investors across the different rounds that LSIP has participated in. The funding amount was available for 65 investments. 

The startups have been classified according to various industries based on data from Pitchbook, and the sector classification is based on Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS). The sector classification is subjective and has been made considering the sector/industry that the startups closely resemble. 

Investments in India account for a little over 90% of the funds, followed by Indonesia with 5.8%, the U.S. with 3.6% and finally Singapore with around 0.4%. 

Sector-wise classification of the total funding amount

The information technology sector has attracted 54.66% of the funds or US$1.1 billion. Home to 12 startups, the information technology sector is tied for first place with the financial sector in terms of the number of startups. Prominent industries in this sector include media and information services (B2B) with US$860 million and business/productivity software with US$233 million. 

Founded in 2016, Udaan is an India-based B2B e-commerce platform with more than 5 lakh products across categories such as food, medicines, home & kitchen, footwear, clothing and accessories. The startup has a network of more than three million registered users and around 30,000 sellers across 900+ cities in the country. Udaan enables small manufacturers and brands to sell their products across the country with payment security and transparency. The startup has raised US$860 million across three funding rounds from LSIP and other prominent investors like Tencent, GGV Capital, and DST Global. 

Ula is a retail marketplace platform that organizes sourcing and supply chain procedures. The Indonesian startup’s marketplace enables store owners to stock only the inventory they need and also provides them with working capital for the smooth flow of business. Between June 2020 and October 2021, Ula raised US$117.5 million across three funding rounds. 

Industry-wise classification of the total funding amount

Startups in the financial sector have raised US$315 million or 15.63% of the funds. Prominent industries in this sector include financial software with US$267 million and other financial services with US$28.5 million. 

Founded in 2017, CredAvenue is a debt management platform that helps retail and institutional investors easily find an array of attractive debt deals to fund. The platform connects startups with investors for fundraising through the issue of debentures. It also provides credit underwriting solutions, structuring solutions and sends real-time notifications on different transactions. To date, it has facilitated debt transactions worth more than Rs 65,000 crores (~US$8.76 billion) and records 12k+ daily transactions on the platform. LSIP participated in the startup’s US$89 million Series A round led by Sequoia Capital India. 

Year-wise classification of the number of investments

OkCredit is an India-based mobile application that keeps track of receivables and payables. It boasts of multi-language support, collection reminders, reports and account statements. Between August 2018 and September 2019, the startup has raised US$84 million from investors such as Tiger Global Management, Y Combinator and 5Y Capital.  

The consumer discretionary sector has raked in US$311 million or 15.41% of the funds and is home to six startups. Prominent industries in this sector include educational and training services (B2C) with US$173 million and other restaurants, hotels and leisure with US$90.5 million. 

Oyo Rooms is a global platform that supports entrepreneurs and small businesses with hotels and homes by providing full-stack technology that improves earnings and eases operations. The startup, which opened its first location in the city of Gurugram, Haryana, in 2013, has come a long way and now boasts of 157k hotels and homes across 35 countries. LSIP and Sequoia Capital India participated in Oyo’s US$90 million Series C round led by SoftBank

Total funding amount and the number of investments classified according to the type of funding

Founded in 2020, Teachmint is a live tutoring and teaching platform that enables live streaming classrooms and learning management. The platform offers digital tools with mobile and web applications that enable tutoring management workflow to mark attendance and create content. In the past year, the startup has raised US$98 million across three funding rounds from investors such as Goodwater Capital, Learn Capital and Vulcan Capital. 

Summary

In all, Lightspeed India has participated in rounds worth US$2 billion and has made 67 investments across 44 startups. A majority of the startups that LSIP has invested in continue to remain private, and only one has gone public (Indian Energy Exchange), while four have been acquired/merged. LSIP has rapidly increased the number of investments with 49 investments in the last three years alone compared to 18 between 2007 and 2018. In terms of the number of investments, seed and Series A bag the top spot, but when it comes to the total funding amount, Series D and Series C are in the first and second position, respectively. 

High-Stakes | India | Lightspeed | Lightspeed India Partners | VC funding

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Rajan writes about the startup ecosystem on VCBay. He is a Master of Business Finance graduate from XIM University, with a passion for all things finance and technology.

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