Prerna Bhutani, a partner at venture capital firm India Quotient has stepped down from her role to pursue her entrepreneurial plans, said two people aware of the matter, requesting anonymity as the discussion is private.
Bhutani informed her fellow partners - Anand Lunia, Madhukar Sinha and Gagan Goyal - last month of her decision to step down, and will not be making any further new investments from India Quotient’s third fund which it is currently investing from.
She will continue to serve on the boards of her existing portfolio companies such as lending startup LoanTap and online fashion store FabAlley for the imminent future.
Bhutani did not immediately reply to queries from Moneycontrol.
Bhutani has been a partner at the firm since 2016. India Quotient was started by Lunia and Sinha in 2012. The firm has broken out from many smaller Indian VC firms and angel networks, led by its bet on regional language social network ShareChat, from which it bagged a 25x return in 2018.
It has gone from a $5 million first fund and $16 million second fund to its current primary third fund of $60 million, in addition to a $40 million add-on fund, dedicated to top-ups for portfolio firms.
Last year, Goyal was also officially made a full-time partner.
Bhutani will serve as a venture partner, in a diminished role at India Quotient for some period, as she transitions to her new startup. However in the long run, she will move away full time to her startup, people aware of the matter, added.
"Prerna has been a key partner in our firm and has lead consumer and fintech investments for us. She is taking a break from active investing to explore entrepreneurial opportunities. She will continue to spend substantial time as a Venture Partner and will continue working with her investee companies," managing partner Lunia said in response to Moneycontrol's queries.
Bhutani also has her roots in entrepreneurship. From 2010-2012 she was the co-founder and CEO of One Call India, an online home services company. After that, she was also co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer at Red Quanta, a mystery shopping startup from 2012-2015. This involves collecting information for brands.
Experienced partners leaving venture capital funds is generally uncommon, given that it is seen as a 10-year life cycle from raising a fund to seeing companies exit. Most of the money that early-stage venture capital partners make is also closer to the end of the lifecycle.
VC partners earn carried interest, commonly known as ‘carry’, a profit share earned when a company exits via an IPO or merger.
With exceptions, limited partners, the people who invest in VC funds, prefer stability in partnership and a team that remains together across funds and investments.
Senior VCs generally leave to raise a fund by themselves or to become an entrepreneur.