Helion Venture Partners closes second India fund

In its second fund, Indian venture capital firm Helion Venture Partners has moved beyond technology as its core focus, to include businesses targetting Indian consumer demand.

Helion Venture Partners has closed its second fund at $210 million (€135.7 million), 50 percent up on its predecessor, which closed in mid-2006. About $70 million from the first fund has either been deployed or committed. So far the firm has made investments in eleven companies, most of which operate in the technology or related sectors.

The broad theme is catering to consumer demand.

Kanwal Singh, managing director

Fundraising for Helion Venture Partners II began in the latter half of 2007 and attracted all the original investors from the first find, said Kanwal Singh, a managing director at Helion Venture Partners. He added that the fund also drew new investors from the US, Europe and other parts of Asia, excluding India. In all, the fund drew investments from close to a dozen limited partners, most of whom were US university endowments, foundations and family offices.

In a marked shift from the investment strategy employed by the firm for its maiden fund which is being used to invest in mainly technology-related businesses, Helion’s second fund will broaden its focus to include investments in retail services, education and financial services in response to increasing domestic consumption in India.

Kanwal Singh told PEO “the broad theme is catering to consumer demand, and specific sectors for focus at this point are retail services, education and financial services.” He said technology-powered businesses, however, still continue to form the core focus for investments.

Helion Venture Partners’ investment team currently comprises of five investment professionals.