Paragon reaches $50m first close on debut fund

The India growth fund will invest about $10-20m in mid-sized companies in the consumer, infrastructure, financial services, healthcare services and industrial sectors.

Mumbai-based Paragon Partners has reached a first close for its debut private equity fund Paragon Partners Growth Fund I on $50 million, the firm said.

It began fundraising in 2015 with a target of $200 million, which it plans to achieve by December 2016.

The fund has drawn commitments from domestic investors including India Infoline, Edelweiss Group, and Infina Finance Private Limited, an affiliate of Kotak Mahindra Bank.

A spokesperson from Paragon told Private Equity International that from a fundraising perspective there is a lot of optimism in India at the moment, with the sweet spot in the mid-market space, as there are currently close to 12,000 companies in this segment.

The firm is targeting minority stake investments in 10-15 high growth companies in India with a ticket size of $10-20 million. It will look at companies in the consumer, infrastructure, financial services, healthcare services and industrial sectors.

Paragon has made its first investment in engineering, procurement and construction service provider Capacite Infraprojects for about $10 million.

Paragon Partners was founded by investment professionals Siddharth Parekh and Sumeet Nindrajog in 2015.

Parekh, son of Deepak Parekh, the chairman of mortgage lender Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC), was an investment principal for over seven years at the Mumbai office of UK-based private equity firm Actis. Before that he worked as an analyst with the International Finance Corporation in Washington, D.C. and as a consultant at the Boston Consulting Group in New York.

Nindrajog worked at Ares Management in its private equity group in Los Angeles, and in UBS in its investment banking group. He is also the co-founder and executive director of Mumbai-based Hover Automotive India.

The firm’s advisory board includes HDFC chairman Deepak Parekh, Marico Innovation Chairman Harsh Mariwala, Capital Advisors chairman Sunil Mehta, and senior advisor at Corbel Structured Equity Partners Jeff Serota.