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Tiger global eyes early stage investment in indian startup

by Rishika Choudhury

Date & Time: Aug 30, 2022 6:00 PM

Read Time: 4 minute



Tiger Global Management, one of the world's largest technology investors, is aggressively eyeing early-stage investments in India, as the New York-based hedge fund firm remains bullish on the country's younger tech startups even as valuations of high-growth technology companies fall elsewhere.

Shine Sameul, an Associate at Tiger Global based in Bengaluru, is meeting with a number of global early-stage investors, including Sequoia Capital India, Accel, and 3one4 Capital, among others, according to at least three people familiar with the situation.

Tiger Global Partner Alex Cook, who is based in the United States, has also come down with his team to meet with early-stage investors at least a couple of times, according to sources who requested anonymity.

Tiger Global, Sequoia Capital, Accel, and 3one4 Capital did not respond to inquiries.

To be sure, Tech Crunch reported in July that Cook had travelled to India to meet with some portfolio founders in order to offer them advice and assuage their concerns about'market conditions.' According to the report, Tiger Global will launch a new fund this year.

‘A few deals maybe finalised mid-Sept’

“Tiger is extremely bullish on early-stage tech companies in India. They believe the opportunity India offers for these companies is tremendous,” said a person aware of Tiger Global’s plans.

“They (Alex Cook and team) have already come down to Bengaluru a couple of times and their team is meeting investors to look at their portfolio. They want to look at early-stage companies of their co-investors like Sequoia and Accel, and are looking at potential investments. In mid-September, they are going to come again and finalise a few deals,” the person added.

The meetings take place at a time when the hedge fund firm is increasingly looking to invest in younger startups around the world as some of its late-stage bets turn sour amid a sharp correction in technology company valuations.

Ups Series A bets in India more than three-fold

Tiger Global told investors in May that more than half of the fund's investments were in Series A or Series B rounds, which are typically the first or second big financings for private tech companies, from its newest and largest venture capital fund, which it raised in March for nearly $13 billion.

Tiger Global has also more than tripled its Series A bets in India this year. In the first six months of 2022, the hedge fund company participated in Series A rounds of ten companies totaling $377.4 million, compared to three companies in rounds totaling $75.7 million in the entire year of 2021.

“Last year, Tiger Global would only participate in a $100 million round and probably nothing less than that,” said another person requesting anonymity.

“This year, from $100 million, the round sizes have come down to say $15-20 million. Their cheque sizes have also come down significantly compared to last year. I don’t know if they are really going aggressive on early-stage investments, but certainly they have started looking at early-stage investments, which wasn’t the case until last year,” the person added.

Early-stage investments grow to $1.5 billion

Tiger Global's optimism about early-stage investments in India comes at a time when many early-stage investors, including some of the country's largest and most aggressive, have raised or are in the process of raising their largest-ever India-focused funds, including Sequoia Capital, Accel, Elevation Capital, Westbridge Capital, Rocketship VC, Fireside Ventures, and Matrix Partners, among others.

Early-stage investments increased by a third to $1.50 billion in the first half of 2022, according to investors, and with investors sitting on large India-focused funds, investments could increase even more this year compared to 2021.

Tiger Global has been one of India's most aggressive tech investors, spawning nearly 40 unicorns out of the country's 105 to date. While many late-stage investors have slowed their investments in India this year, the hedge fund firm has minted as many as five unicorns out of the 22 new that have been minted.

In 2022, Tiger Global backed unicorns in a variety of industries, including neo-banking platform Open, gaming platform Games 24x7, small and medium enterprises lending marketplace Oxyzo Financial Services, Web 3.0 infrastructure Polygon, and social commerce platform Dealshare.

Also Read: NIRMAN Accelerator Program Launched by IIT-Kanpur to Support Agri and Healthcare Startups

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