Early-stage technology-focused fund Inventus Capital Partners recorded cash exits worth Rs 230 crore from three portfolio companies in December, including a partial sale in PolicyBazaar to SoftBank, and full exits in AasaanJobs to OLX, and eDreams to Reliance Industries, returning almost 96% of its second fund.
Inventus invested Rs 10.7 crore in AsaanJobs across two funding rounds in 2015 and held close to a 15% stake in the firm, regulatory filings show. It made a 2X cash return on capital when the firm sold itself to OLX last year, Inventus said.
In Funtoot, an e-learning product and service provider, Inventus was the only institutional investor with a Rs 50 crore investment across multiple rounds, and the firm owned 35% of the business. In December, Reliance Industries-backed educational technology firm Embibe acquired a 90.5% stake in Funtoot for Rs 71.64 crore.
Its largest exit, however, has been through selling a partial stake in PolicyBazaar to Japan’s SoftBank. The fund invested about Rs 30 crore in PolicyBazaar across two funding rounds. Inventus sold about 1.67% of its 3.5% stake in the firm for about Rs 177 crore or $25 million, making more than 20X return.
“Exits are challenging in the Indian environment, given the relatively lesser number of acquirers in the ecosystem,” said Parag Dhol, Managing Director, Inventus Capital Partners.
However, more Indian companies, both traditional as well as new-age, are willing to acquire startups and are paying fair value for IP and business, he said, in the process allowing investors to record much-needed exits.
Inventus has so far made about four exits from its two previous funds, including from redBus, which was sold to Naspers-owned Ibibo Group; Sokrati, which was acquired by Dentsu Aegis Network for reportedly Rs 700-Rs 800 crore, and Insta Health, which was sold to Practo for about $12 million, according to reports.
Other funds that have recorded exits include India Quotient’s partial stake sale in ShareChat, Artha Ventures’s exit from Oyo, and Sama Capital’s Snapdeal and Paytm secondary.
“A steady stream of profitable exits is essential for a smoothly functioning VC ecosystem since it enables capital to flow back into newer startups,” said Samir Kumar, Managing Director at Inventus Capital Partners.
In October, Inventus raised its third Rs 369 crore fund. This is the Silicon Valley and Bengaluru-based venture capital firm’s first India-dedicated fund and is being led by its local team, which comprises general partners Samir Kumar, Parag Dhol, and Rutvik Doshi.
Inventus typically invests between Rs 5 crore and Rs 15 crore and reserves about 1.5X the initial investments it makes in select portfolio companies for their follow-on funding rounds.
The new fund has made five investments so far, including in SaaS startup Worxogo, smart helmet accessory maker BluArmor, local experiences and product discovery platform LBB, blockchain-based supply chain app Koinearth and children’s educational toy venture PlayShifu.