General Catalyst, a Silicon Valley-based venture capital group, is expanding its presence in India by joining forces with local venture firm Venture Highway and allocating between $500 million to $1 billion in investments in the country.

Venture Highway investments include Social commerce startup Meesho And Moglix B2B Industrial Marketplace. TechCrunch reported in January that Two venture firms were discussing a tie-up.

The deal will see the combined entity plan a multi-stage investment strategy for General Catalyst in India, which includes early-stage and growth-stage startups across industries, Venture Highway founder Neeraj Arora and general partner Priya Mohan told TechCrunch in an interview.

Highway project, which It raised $78.6 million for its second fund in 2020, has traditionally focused on early-stage investments. As part of the General Catalyst team, she will expand her remit to include startup incubation. “Our vision is to be part of building a number of companies that will not only go public, but will also help jumpstart the economy,” Mohan said.

General Catalyst, which manages assets worth more than $25 billion, plans to invest between $500 million to $1 billion in India over the course of a year, said Arora, who previously served as chief business officer at WhatsApp and was instrumental in developing the instant messaging app. The next three years. Selling to Meta.

The deal positions General Catalyst as one of the largest venture capital firms in India, alongside the likes of Lightspeed, Accel, Elevation and Nexus, which each raised between $500 million and $700 million for their recent funds. Peak XV Partners (formerly Sequoia India and Southeast Asia) leads the pack with a $2 billion fund dedicated to investments in the country.

General Catalyst has not acquired the Venture Highway portfolio, but will see it as a “large part of the GC portfolio going forward,” General Catalyst CEO Hemant Taneja told TechCrunch.

“We want support [these portfolio companies] The same way we support any of our companies in India or anywhere else in the world.

Arora said the two companies began exploring ways to collaborate several years ago, but the timing was right now. “We could have gone out and raised more capital. That was one option on the table. But thinking from first principles, when we think about the opportunity in India today, and what our ambitions are, it made sense for us to join hands with General Catalyst.

India has become one of the world’s fastest-growing major economies over the past decade, with GDP reaching 8.2% in the last fiscal year. Favorable policy changes have stimulated growth in various industries and attracted some of the world’s largest investors.

SoftBank, Tiger Global, Peak but “Returns on capital in India have historically suckedTiger Global’s Scott Schleifer said in a virtual meeting with Indian entrepreneurs last year.

India is not new territory for General Catalyst, which has been investing in the country for more than a decade. Its portfolio includes fintech unicorn CRED, used car marketplace Spinny, and health tech startup Orange Health. The company recently co-led a funding round with India’s Tata that was raised by Alsym Energy, a company developing non-flammable rechargeable batteries.

Taneja expects more partnerships with Indian companies in the future. “I believe many conglomerates in India are very entrepreneurial and will play an important role in the growth opportunities in India,” he said. “Some of the opportunities we want to invest in or help build in India, it might make sense to collaborate with them on a more radical basis.”

“When you transform industries, no matter where you are in the world, you have to collaborate with industry leaders,” Taneja added. “We do that in health care here [in the U.S.] With many healthcare systems; We are actively working with various governments when it comes to policies, issues and things like artificial intelligence.

Thursday’s announcement follows a similar move by General Catalyst in Europe last year, when the company revealed plans to… It merged with the Berlin-based investment firm La Famiglia. Taneja declined to comment on whether his company would seek to replicate this model in other markets. General Catalyst is in advanced stages of closing $6 billion fund, FT mentioned in April.

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