Leo Capital attracts global investors for India targeting a $125 million fund

Rajul Garg and Shwetank Verma, Co-founders, Leo Capital

Leo Capital will launch a new fund following two successful funds. This comes hot on the heels as India is set to receive a record $35b in venture funding from global investors.

Over the past 3 years, Leo Capital has raised $106m for two funds from investors around the world seeking technology-centric opportunities in India and Southeast Asia.

Leo Capital was established by Rajul Garg and Shwetank Verma in 2017. Rajul has been a serial entrepreneur for over two decades before setting up Leo Capital.

He founded Pine Labs (valued at $5B in private valuation), GlobalLogic (valued at $10B on exit) and Sunstone Education (leading business education company in India).

He started angel investing in 2011 before setting up Leo Capital. He was the first investor in Meesho, India’s largest social commerce company, valued at $5B in private valuation.

Shwetank worked for the Clermont Group, investing in education and healthcare before joining Metlife Asia where he led work on innovation and partnerships with startups.

In between, he also founded start-up MyHealthMate which was acquired in 2016.

The vast experience behind the leadership at Leo Capital

Rajul Garg, the Managing Partner at Leo Capital said, “Having been a founder several times over, I know first hand the opportunity and challenges startups face.”

“As a team, we’re well versed on the early-stage signals that matter and are able to quickly engage in opportunities and be the first to write seed-stage cheques for these businesses which we know have the right team and plan to scale.”

“We are proud of ourselves for our impressive track record of having managed to help in building category-leading technology companies over multiple instances.”

“Our approach drew investors into our first 2 funds and we became a beacon for investors in USA, Europe and Japan when they started to globalize their venture investments.”

“We’re on the ground and due to our long careers, we are very familiar with the ecosystem.”

Great potential in the Indian start-up ecosystem

The Indian start-up ecosystem presents an opportunity for global investors. India is set to surpass the total investment it saw last year when venture funding totaled $33.8bn.

Indian startups received $26.7 billion in the first three quarters of this year alone, putting the nation on track for well more than $35 billion in investment by the end of 2021.

Since 2014, over 6,500 Indian startups have raised over $81B in funding and this is growing exponentially year on year. This includes 66 startups that are in the Unicorn Club, whose combined valuation is $210 billion. This number is set to reach 100 startups by 2023.

Shwetank Verma, the General Partner at Leo Capital said, “There are opportunities in the startup ecosystem across India and Southeast Asia, where a Unicorn is born weekly.”

“India’s startup ecosystem has moved beyond just consumer apps with a booming domestic stock market that has shown investors a path to new liquidity opportunities.”

“India’s public market could grow to more than $5 trillion, making it the fifth-largest in the world, within three years–the country just recently passed the $3.5 trillion threshold.”

“Currently, there are more than 150 private companies in India waiting in the wings that have shown the potential to list on the stock market within the next three years.”

Role of funders and seed-stage management

Michael Kim, the Founder of Cendana Capital and investor in Leo Capital is buoyant.

“Seed stage management and funders for example Leo Capital facilitate us as they present the perfect partner for us as we seek opportunities in India and Southeast Asia.”

“They offer the first cheque and an array of experience and networks to founders having successfully founded startups themselves, indeed Rajul is a two-time unicorn founder.”

“Their proposition is unmatched in the region and we look forward to working with them”.

Rajul Garg added, “My joy is when I see and hear about portfolio companies from people.”

“When I swipe my card on a Pine Labs PoS, or a software tester praises Lambdatest or seeing environmental impact using IPL’s Electric trucks, I get very excited.”

“We are trying to look for businesses with a clear vision and an effective business model that can facilitate scaling to an enduring and impactful large global enterprise.”

“We stay true to technology-centric companies, with a firm belief that technology creates exponential impact and value. We can invest very early, at a concept stage, or we can invest a little later depending on the space itself, traction, ability to scale and other factors.”

“Our interests include participative commerce, Insure-tech, fintech, Web3 and global SaaS.”

Leo Capital is focused on two investment themes.

Firstly, technology-based India domestic consumption startups, Consumer Internet, Commerce, Healthtech, Logistics, Edttech, Fintech, Insurtech and others linked to GDP growth.

Secondly, tech companies from India like SE Asia centric companies or global SaaS companies.