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General Catalyst to double down on investments in India, crypto and Web 3.0 in focus

The US-based investment firm is bullish on India and sees an opportunity to invest in Web 3.0 startups as well as fintech, healthcare, enterprise and consumer firms

March 31, 2022 / 12:56 PM IST
Representative image.

Representative image.

General Catalyst, which has backed global startups like Airbnb, Instacart and Stripe, is looking to beef up investments in India, the US-based venture firm said in a virtual press meet on March 30.

The venture capital firm will continue to look at areas like fintech, healthcare, enterprise, consumer, agritech, crypto and Web3.0.

The Indian investments would be headed by former SoftBank investor Deep Nishar and former Snapdeal and Meta executive Anand Chandrasekaran.

Talking about India’s startup ecosystem, Hemant Taneja, managing director, General Catalyst, said the big takeaway for them was “that the sleeping giant of entrepreneurship is waking up”.

“The tech transformation we had in the United States from 2010 to 2020, I believe that the same is going to happen in the next decade in India,” he said.

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The company has invested $150 million in India, of which $50 million has been infused in the last three months.

The company also announced a Series B round in B2B food supply platform FarMart. Its other Indian investments include lending platform Cred, fintech startup Uni, social commerce firm CityMall, online used car retailer Spinny, neo-bank FamPay and social investment company StockGro among others.

For its fintech investments, the firm sees credit as the most important focus area, considering that India is still a credit-starved market. The penetration of credit cards in India stands only at 3-4 percent.

“We intend to invest in neobanks as well. But, it is still a really early trend in India, and it's gonna play out in the next few decades,” said Alex Tran, partner at General Catalyst.

“​Every market has a different pain point and one of the biggest pain points for consumers in India today is the need for credit. We think as India enters a period of really rapid consumption growth, you will see hyper-acceleration in financial services, and that's where we think there's a lot of opportunity in the next decade,” he said.

General Catalyst has also been scouting for investments in the Web3 and crypto space. When asked about how the firm was planning its investments with a 30 percent tax on gains from virtual digital assets kicking in from April 1, Chandrasekaran, who is also a Partner at the firm, said, “In India there is an emergence of Layer 1 and Layer 2 protocol areas. We are seeing a variety of models and many of them are actually operating well within the current regulatory framework. We're very excited about both the quality and quantity of crypto companies coming out of India.”

Over the last one year, Web3 has become one of the most sought out sectors for venture capital. The space raised over $500 million last year and the funding is likely to increase five to six times next year, with more global venture firms looking at the space, according to venture capitalists.

 



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Moneycontrol News
first published: Mar 31, 2022 12:56 pm
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