General Atlantic to invest $60m in Indian IT firm

General Atlantic will add a ninth firm to its India portfolio with a $60 million investment in IBS Software Services.

Greenwich, Connecticut-based growth equity firm General Atlantic has agreed to invest $60 million (€44 million) in India-based IBS Software Services, a company that provides information technology services to the travel, transportation and logistics industry sectors.

IBS’s clients include airlines, airports, cruise lines and oil and gas companies. General Atlantic’s investment will be used to help IBS continue its strategic growth initiatives, General Atlantic spokesperson Pat Hedly told PrivateEquityOnline. In particular, Hedly said, IBS will expand its offerings, and at some point expand geographically as well. To facilitate this effort, Abhay Havadlar, a managing director at General Atlantic, will join IBS’s board of directors.

IBS is General Atlantic’s third investment in India this year alone. In June, the firm bought a 13 percent stake in Infotech Enterprises, a company that specialises in geospatial, design engineering and software services, for $75 million. In January, General Atlantic was one of several investors, including Goldman Sachs, Softbank Asian Infrastructure Fund, and the NYSE Group, to take a stake in India’s National Stock Exchange; General Atlantic’s total stake is about 10.3 percent, valued at roughly $680 million.

General Atlantic made its first Indian investment in 2002 when it injected $100 million into IT services company Patni and subsequently opened a Mumbai office. Since then, the firm has invested nearly $1 billion in eight Indian companies, with a particular focus on the enterprise solutions, software and IT solutions and financial services sectors.

Private equity activity in India has been heating up recently. In 2005 The Blackstone Group, The Carlyle Group, and Lehman Brothers all opened offices in Mumbai. Interest in India has only increased since then: this year private equity has already invested $2.2 billion in India, compared with $3.2 billion last year, according to data from Thomson Financial.

Venture capital has also picked up in the country: Bessemer Venture Partners dedicated $350 million of its latest $1 billion fund to India, while Sequoia Capital, Battery Ventures, Westbridge Capital and Matrix Partners are among the made India a strategic priority.