Charles River sets sights on India

Two of the early stage venture firm's executives are turning their focus toward investment opportunities in India, as the firm reportedly plans to open two offices in India and raise a country-dedicated $150m fund.

Charles River Venture partners Swapnil Shah and Devdutt Yellurkar, both based in the firm's Waltham, Massachusetts office, will shift their focus to Indian investments, a spokeswoman said.

The venture firm also is reportedly raising a $150 million fund for India investments and opening offices in Mumbai and Bangalore, according to a report from India's Economic Times. The spokeswoman declined to comment on the report.

Devdutt Yellurkar

Charles River has made recent investment in India. It co-led a $10 million investment with Helion Ventures in SMS GupShup, an Indian-based social community platform with more than 7 million subscribers. GupShup was launched in April 2007 by Webaroo Technology, which has offices in Mumbai and Delhi.

Charles River also recently participated in a $32 million round of funding for Vanu, a provider of software radio

Swapnil Shah

infrastructure based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which has additional offices in India.

The firm last year closed its most recent fund, the Charles River Partnership XIII, on $285 million. Charles River has more than $2 billion in assets under management, which it uses to invest primarily in software and services, media, data center infrastructure and communications technology. Its past investments include mobile provider GreatCall, online community Eons and voice recognition software Vlingo.