July 2022 \ Business & Investment \ BUSINESS NEWS
Bertelsmann to invest $500 million in Indian startups

  • Mr Carsten Coesfeld

NEW DELHI: Bertelsmann India Investments (BII) in June announced to invest around $500 million to new startups in the country along with follow-up investments and plans to open offices in Mumbai and Bengaluru.

The venture capital arm of German media company Bertelsmann, BII will steps up investment activity to six-eight new investments per year in the country and expand focus to make selective Series A investments. “Bertelsmann India Investments will benefit from Bertelsmann’s Boost program, which is being carried out based on our high investment capacity. It will help Bertelsmann continue to increase its growth momentum significantly,” said Carsten Coesfeld, CEO of Bertelsmann Investments. “The Indian economy is seeing very strong growth right now, from which the venture capital industry in particular is benefiting as well,” Coesfeld said in a statement. Since its launch in 2013, BII has successfully invested in more than 17 companies, some already valued as unicorns.

The India arm of the fund has invested in companies including Eruditus, Licious, Shiprocket, Pepperfry, AgroStar, Lets Transport, Lendingkart, Rupeek, among others. BII has invested a total of about $285 million in startups to date. “Based on our increased allocation of $500 million, we expect to make six to eight new investments a year, for the next five years. We aim to connect with founders early,” said Pankaj Makkar, Managing Director of BII. In 2022 and 2023, BII plans to focus on investments in the healthtech, enterprisetech, future of work, fintech, agritech and other sectors. The fund will also be keeping an eye on disruptive technologies like Web3 and deeptech. “On the back of VC market potential in India, we now enable Pankaj Makkar and his successful BII team to expand their investment scope both in terms of sectors and volume,” said Shobhna Mohn, CSO of Bertelsmann Investments.

Today, mid-stage funding in India and the region has transitioned into the early growth stage with multiple disruptive startups building such an ecosystem. “With a decade of experience, we have witnessed that founders and companies are exhibiting maturity at an early stage. No doubt, the industry landscape is changing and we are ready to dive in,” Mr Makkar added.

Bertelsmann has other strategic businesses in India such as Penguin Random House, Fremantle India and Majorel.