Insight Partners eyeing deeper presence in India: MD Nikhil Sachdev

Global venture capital firm Insight Partners is eyeing a deeper presence in India and is likely to increase its pace of investments in the country, Nikhil Sachdev, managing director, Insight Partners, told ET in an exclusive interaction.

The firm which has backed startups such as Cred, CredAvenue, and M2P among others has deployed over a billion dollars in India, with 78% of it coming in the last 18 months alone, Sachdev said. It began investing in India in 2018.

It provides early-stage to growth-stage capital to startups.

Insight’s India portfolio has scaled since 2021. In 2022 alone, it invested in CredAvenue, Rattle, FanCraze, and M2P.

“Most recently, we announced our investment in AppSmith,” Sachdev added. He joined Insight in 2020 and helps lead early-stage and growth-stage venture investments in software, fintech, and crypto startups.

Insight has
mopped up $20 billion in its new global fund that it raised earlier this year. Globally, it counts firms such as Slice, ezCater, and Linktree as a part of its portfolio, and is one of the most active software and technology investors. It has more than $90 billion in total assets under management (AUM).

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“Insight doesn’t allocate specific funds for any domain or geography, so we can’t predict how much we will invest in India. However, we continue to be bullish on the Indian startup ecosystem. India has already emerged as a global fintech leader and is well-positioned to be one in SaaS,” he said.

According to Sachdev, there are several second or third-time founders in India, in addition to founders who have worked across the globe, bringing the required perspective into the market. “This is a completely different level of sophistication than what we’ve previously seen in the industry, which makes it a great market for SaaS companies,” he said.

Sachdev believes the talent and innovation that has developed in India in recent years are going to multiply with the growing economy and competitive startup ecosystem.

“We’ll continue to partner with our existing investments as they scale up and explore new investment opportunities with a focus on global SaaS and fintech,” he noted.

Insight’s India team is the industry’s largest software-focused operations team. It comprises more than 130 operators, who work with its portfolio companies in the areas of talent, sales, marketing, product, engineering, and strategy to help founders and executives identify and execute key strategic growth initiatives.

Insight’s global peers such as Sequoia Capital,

, and Matrix Partners, too, have been deepening their India presence and have mopped up larger pools of capital to be deployed in the region.

Recently, Sequoia India said it had
raised $2.85 billion across three funds to invest in the Indian and Southeast Asian markets.
ET reported on June 14 that Sequoia will allocate $300 million to Surge instead of raising a separate fund like it did in previous years merging with the firm’s venture vehicle.

Others like
Accel India mopped up $650 million while
Elevation Capital (formerly Saif Partners)
raised its largest-ever fund at $670 million.

Lightspeed Venture Partners is also in the process of closing its $500-million fund to invest in India and Southeast Asia while Matrix Partners has
filed to raise a $450 million India-focused fund.

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