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Sequoia Capital and WestBridge merge for India

Silicon Valley-based Sequoia Capital has merged with India and US-focused venture capital firm WestBridge Capital Partners.

Bangalore-based venture capital firm WestBridge Capital Partners (WBCP) has merged with California’s Sequoia Capital. WCBP will be rebranded Sequoia Capital India.

No financing terms for the merger were disclosed. Neither WBCP nor Sequoia Capital were immediately available for comment.

India and US-focused venture WBCP was founded by former Goldman Sachs professionals Sumir Chadha, KP Balaraj and Raj Dugar. The firm, which also has offices in Silicon Valley and Mumbai, India, has previously received backing from Goldman Sachs, SUN Technology, Capital Z Investments, Merrill Lynch and Fidelity.

Last August, WBCP closed its second fund with $200 million (€158 million) of commitments, bringing its total assets under management to $350 million.

The two firms have worked together previously on deals, including last July’s acquisition of a 15 percent stake in internet portal IndiaTimes.com for $36 million (€28.5 million). WBCP and Sequoia Capital beat off competition from London-listed private equity firm 3i, which set up an office in Mumbai in March 2005.

The merger is expected to provide Sequoia Capital with a stronger base for sourcing start-up and early-stage companies in India and follows a number of other US-based venture capital firms making a push into the region.

Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Norwest Venture Partners, Thomas Wiesel and Canaan Partners have recently followed buyout firms such as The Blackstone Group, General Atlantic Partners and The Carlyle Group in pursuing investments in India or actively setting up operations in the country.