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Mar, 29 2018

Venture Highway on the road to raise $60 million

The Delhi-based company has so far backed over half a dozen entities, including vernacular social network Sharechat and reseller network Meesho.

Investment firm Venture Highway, which is advised by WhatsApp business head Neeraj Arora, is on the road to raising a $50-60 million venture fund, said three persons familiar with the matter.

The Delhi-based company has so far backed over half a dozen entities, including vernacular social network Sharechat and reseller network Meesho. But these have been mostly by investing capital of a few high net-worth investors, including Arora.

“They have been able to raise capital from a few large investors and have managed to get about half of the capital they are targeting,” said one of the persons cited earlier.

Venture Highway also counts former Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka as an advisor. The company was founded by Samir Sood, a former Google corporate development head who has also worked with Microsoft, Cisco, and Dell. Email queries and messages sent to Sood, Arora, and Sikka remained unanswered till as of press time.

One of the person’s cited earlier said the company’s strategy will be to invest in early-stage startups in the country, especially those in the seed and series A stages. The firm lists about 18 companies in its portfolio, including artificial intelligence-based healthcare startup Sigtuple, dairy internet thing (IoT) company Stellapps and startup discovery platform Tracxn. It is not clear whether Arora will work full time with Venture Highway after the fund is raised.

This comes at a time when several venture capital funds on the road to raise fresh capital. ET had reported last month that existing top venture funds like Sequoia Capital India, Lightspeed India, Nexus Venture Partners and Matrix Partners India are on the road to collectively raise over $2 billion this year.

At the same time, several new venture funds raising seed or series A funds have also hit the road in the last 12 months. These include firms like 021Capital, which is backed by Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal, and Equanimity Investments, started by former Franklin Templeton Investment senior executive Rajesh Sehgal.

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