Matrix Partners India Expands Fund to $450 Million

Matrix Partners India has expanded its fund from $150 million to approximately $450 million; existing investors have upped their investment in the fund. Apart from early stage investments with a deal size of $3-10 million, Matrix will be focusing on growth stage companies with a deal size of $30 million. The fund, founded by Avnish Bajaj and Rishi Navani in partnership with Matrix Partners US, has so far committed $40 million of its initial fund size of $150 million, for multiple stages of investments in asklaila, itzcash, SeventyMM and Yo! China.
Speaking to ContentSutra, Matrix Partners India MD Avnish Bajaj said that over the past few months, funds like ICICI Ventures, Chrys Capital and 3i have moved north of the $30-40 million range, and Matrix saw an opportunity there. There is less competition outside of the hotly contested Internet and Mobile space – in financial services, media and entertainment and travel (concepts like Timeshares, not Online Travel Agents). Matrix will focus on the consumer services space. Valuations in Internet and Mobile are out of whack; it’s a classic supply demand issue, but Bajaj is bullish on the next three years. In Media and Entertainment, Matrix is looking at production houses, distributors, regional broadcasters looking to go national; there are content production houses who seem to be stuck at Rs. 10 to 70 crores revenue, and there are very few breakouts like Balaji Telefilms. “We’d love to fund an IP based media company” says Bajaj.
When does Matrix say no to a deal? Apart from a very small niche, no differentiation, poor product value proposition, Bajaj says they make blind reference calls, and if the team does not check out, then that’s dead on arrival. If everything looks good, then they do primary and secondary diligence. Once they sign a term sheet, then the deal only breaks in case of financial irregularities.
Who’re they likely to compete with mostly, for deals? “Sequoia is probably one that we will run into most often”, says Bajaj.