New York-based Falcon Edge Capital is one of the new active investors in India's startup sector and is about to close various deals in artificial intelligence (AI), urban mobility and financial technology sectors, according to The Times of India.
Falcon Edge seeks out potential investment opportunities making bets through its venture capital and private equity funds. Sources told the paper that the company's exposure in India could reach $2 billion in the next 2-3 years.
For instance, it is in talks with a two-wheeler rental platform, Bounce, for a round of $70-80 million, which has also attracted investment from Accel and Sequoia Capital, the sources added. AI retail startup Vue.ai and a tech startup called Locus is also in Falcon Edge's list, where it will be pumping in $5-10 million each. The company has nearly 10 such deals planned in the near future.
Falcon Edge, which is known as a hedge fund, also has stakes in the National Stock Exchange and non-banking finance unit of JM Financial. It has over $4 billion in assets under management (AUM). "A lot of their investments are panning out and now they are doubling down," an investor said. He added that it is surpassing its peers like Tiger Global and Steadview Capital in terms of investment activity.
Indian startups raised as much as $10.5 billion funds in 2018, more than $10.4 billion in 2017, data suggests. This is much more than the $4.3 billion raised in 2016. These numbers are only supposed to go up in 2019.
The company is scouting for companies still picking up their pace and in segments like environment and artificial intelligence. It closed deals recently with social e-commerce startup DealShare and CreditVidya, which provides alternate data-based credit scores.
"We think we are different across a few vectors—our capital, while long term and focused on specific spaces that we map out rigorously, is entirely flexible, and can be deployed from seed stage to pre-IPO stage," Navroz D Udwadia, co-founder of Falcon Edge, told TOI. "Our passion is proactively helping entrepreneurs we invest in to grow their business," he said.
What sets the company apart from its competitors is the depth of its research. Vivekananda Hallekere, CEO of Bounce said that the company's homework is extensive. Industry leaders also say that the company backs companies through multiple rounds and doesn't function like a 'fly-by-night' operator.
"They entered India along with several others, didn’t leave and have been all-weather partners to founders through ups and downs," Vikram Vaidyanathan, MD at Matrix Partners India, said.