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India’s top venture capital adviser Avendus seeks $300 million for new private equity fund

Avendus, India’s leading venture capital investment bank, is seeking to raise about $300 million for its private equity arm, three people familiar with the matter said.

The Mumbai-based firm, which is backed by US private equity giant KKR, has emerged as a top financial advisor in India, having worked on several funding rounds last year with popular growth-stage startups such as Zepto, LensKart, XpressBees, CaratLane and Atomberg.

With its third private equity fund, Avendus plans to write larger checks more frequently, one of the sources said. The company raised a second fund in 2021 of approximately $185 million. Its first fund size is US$50 million.

The sources requested anonymity to discuss private matters. An Avendus spokesman declined to comment.

Avendus first gained traction at a time when the Indian startup ecosystem was just starting to take shape, taking advantage of the fact that many high-profile rivals, including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan, had initially paid less attention to the Indian market. This is partly due to the size of early deals: typically under $30 million, they are not large enough to generate significant fees, making it less attractive for many big-name brands to participate.

But as the Indian startup ecosystem has boomed in the past decade, becoming the third largest in the world, attracting global giants such as SoftBank, Tiger Global, General Atlantic, and sovereign wealth funds such as Temasek, GIC, ADIA, Khazanah, PIB and In total, Mubadala has invested tens of billions of dollars in Indian startups large and small.

Avendus employs over 150 bankers and was India’s top financial advisor last year. According to private market insights platform Venture Intelligence, the firm has provided services on more than 30 transactions, including mergers and acquisitions.

Over the past decade, Avendus, like financial advisors elsewhere, has diversified its offerings into wealth management, credit financing and private equity. Last year, the company also expanded its financial advisory services into Southeast Asia.

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