Interview With : Sid Talwar, Partner at Lightbox Venture
Updated on: 13 Jun 2016
Mumbai-based venture capital firm Lightbox Ventures is pacing out its investments with only two spots left in its $100 million-fund portfolio. With a comfortable over two years to deploy the fund, the tech-focussed fund, which takes around 4-5 months to decide on an investment, is focussing most of its energy into strengthening its existing portfolio.
In April 2014, the firm launched two funds to invest in start-ups in the consumer technology space in India. Lightbox Fund I acquired equity stakes in GreenDust, ZoomIn, MapmyIndia, Paymate, FutureBazaar and Kotak Solar. Lightbox Fund II was closed at $100 million in late 2014, as a fund for a concentrated investment portfolio of 7-8 companies with an investment horizon of 7–8 years.
Since the launch of Fund II, it has already invested in around five companies including Embibe, tech-enabled fast food chain Faasos, furniture subscription business Furlenco, automobile marketplace Droom, and online jeweller Melorra.
In a freewheeling chat with DEALSTREETASIA, Sid Talwar, Partner at Lightbox Venture, talks about the firm's investment strategy and the overall funding environment.
How do you view the current funding environment?
There is more money in India today than there has ever been. Over the last one year, the valuations went very high and people are re-looking at how to value companies and that's causing a little bit of pause when evaluating a company. The other thing that is happening is that although there are billions of dollars, most funds that are based in India are doing rounds that are up to Series B. Our problem isn't that there is not enough money for A and B rounds,
our problem is that we don't have a venture ecosystem that can lead a Series C or D round.
Is it a good time for investors like you, as you are now getting companies that are more reasonably valued?