MUMBAI : Limited partners (LPs) of venture capital firm Kalaari Capital generated returns of over $ 600 million in 2021 alone after the company exited around 10 companies, partially or fully.
“We’ve had about 8-10 solid outings this year, some bigger than others. I think a few of our funds have brought in more than 2 times the capital raised and still hold large portfolios, ”said Vani Kola, Founder and Managing Director of Kalaari Capital, in an interview. “I think most of our funds will offer somewhere between a 4x to 5x return in total distribution over time,” she added.
The fund that Kalaari launched in 2011 continues to be its best fund to date in terms of returns, according to Kola. Additionally, she said that another opportunity fund launched in 2016 continues to deliver strong returns to its LPs. The venture capital firm, which is currently investing from its fourth fund, counts Reliance Industries among its LPs.
According to Kola, around 40-45% of the fund is currently deployed and the company needs to provide follow-up capital to companies.
Kola’s comments come as Indian startups recorded record fundraisers from international and domestic venture capital firms and private equity (PE) firms in a year that spawned 42 unicorns, or private companies valued at over $ 1 billion to date.
Kalaari Capital has staked between $ 75 million and $ 90 million in 22 investments this year, ranking among the top private market investors in India in terms of activity. The early stage venture capital firm has also partially exited some of its larger holding companies including Dream11, Simplilearn, MilkBasket, Shop101, among others this year, generating healthy returns for its LPs.
VC’s biggest success to date has been its partial exit from fantasy sports company Dream11, owned by Dream Sports. In an April 1 post on LinkedIn, Kola said the venture capital firm has returned up to $ 206 million to its LPs, without disclosing details.
This year, Kalaari Capital has invested in many new sectors including fintech, e-commerce, SaaS (software as a service) and NFT (non-fungible tokens).
According to Kola, the venture capital firm continues to be bullish on these sectors.
“We have invested in these high tech companies because there is this growing tsunami in the service industry, the product industry, emerging technologies and intellectual property based businesses. These are things that we couldn’t do for two to three years, ”Kola said. “I think, in large part, all of this is bringing this digital transformation and a change in social behavior in India… it represents that in a microcosm,” she added.
The venture capital firm recently launched CXXO, which is looking to invest in startups run by women. As stated on its website, the mission of this program is to level the playing field for female founders and CEOs to shape India’s digital future by creating exponential value in the economy. Kalaari Capital has committed $ 10 million to the program and has supported three companies to date — Samosa Party, Kindlife and Creative Galileo.
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