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Meet The New Foreign Funds Betting Big On The Indian Internet Space

E27.CO: Internet is one of the hottest and the most sought-after sectors in India that saw VCs pouring in billions of dollars of investments as of late. The success stories of homegrown giants such as Flipkart, Snapdeal, Quikr, Urban Ladder and Ola are prompting foreign investors to throw some huge bucks into the market, although many of these companies are yet to achieve profit.

Last year saw some new VCs such as DST Global, Qatar Investment Authority, GIC foraying into the Indian Internet vertical. Taking a leaf out of these investments, a few new entrants across geographies are now betting big on the Internet plays.

Here is a list of five funds who invested in India since the beginning of this calendar year

ABG Capital
Started in 1992 by brothers Jeff and Jason Tapolci, ABG Capital is basically a technology firm that invests in people and ideas to ultimately build a company from scratch or to further develop it from a raw concept. Headquartered in Pennsylvania, ABG is basically an aggregator of business services, and an idea incubator. The firm looks for business opportunities, whether that’s an idea or an acquisition.

ABG recently participated in a US$315 million funding round at taxi booking major Ola, along with DST Global and a few other large VC funds. According to various reports, ABG invested INR$29.2 crore (US$4.7 million) in Ola.

Tree Line Asia 
Hong Kong-based Tree Line was established in 2006 with a subsidiary in Singapore. Tree Line is an employee-owned hedge fund sponsor. The firm primarily provides its services to pooled investment vehicles. The fund is mainly focused on the Asia-Pacific region for medium and long-term investments. It has nine investment professionals throughout Asia-Pacific each with at least ten years of investment experience.

Early this week, Tree Line led a US$25 million funding round in MobiKwik, an India-based mobile recharging and wallet company with over 15 million users and 25,000 merchants.

Hillhouse Capital 
Hillhouse Capital Group is a Chinese investment management firm founded by Zhang Lei in 2005. It manages over US$18 billion of assets. Hillhouse is a long-term fundamental equity investor with a global mandate. It mainly focuses on the consumer, TMT, industrials and healthcare sectors and invests in companies across all equity stages.

In January, Hillhouse participated in a US$50 million round in Indian auto portal CarDekho.com, along with Hong Kong-based hedge fund Tybourne Capital.

TR Capital
Established in 2007 in Hong Kong, TR Capital makes Asian mid-market private equity secondary investments. It currently manages two funds with capital commitments of over US$150 million. TR Capital has a pan-Asian scope of investment, with a particular focus on China and to a lesser extent on India and Southeast Asia. A sector-agnostic it has a good background and investment experience in both emerging industries (TMT and medical devices) and traditional sectors (consumer goods, healthcare, business services and financial services).

TR Capital invests between US$15 million and US$30 million each. The VC fund recently co-led in Indian online furniture and home décor startup Urban Ladder’s US$50 million funding round, along with Sequoia Capital.

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