General Atlantic, a private equity firm, is in talks with almost 15 companies from sectors like technology, consumer, retail, and financial services. In an interview with Reuters, Sandeep Naik, Managing Director and India and SEA Business Head, said that the company aims to invest over 2 billion USD in India and Southeast Asia over the next two years.
He further added that General Atlantic made this decision as the valuation of startups in the region has dropped, making them more attractive.
The startup ecosystem, particularly in India, is going through a difficult phase. After securing a record 35 billion USD in 2021, founders struggle to attract funds, sparking valuation drops and layoffs.
General Atlantic Bullish on India and SEA
Last year, General Atlantic had invested only about 190 million USD in Indian startups, its lowest ever annual figure. However, at the World Economic Forum, Naik announced that the early-stage investment firm is “ready to loosen its purse strings.”
“The realism has started to set in. We were waiting for value creation, and we are now ready,” said Naik while sharing plans of General Atlantic for India and Southeast Asia. Notably, the firm has invested more than 4.5 billion USD, most of them in India.
“We are bullish on India, Vietnam, and Indonesia,” added Naik. However, he didn’t disclose any company names General Atlantics is looking at.
More About General Atlantics
Its existing high-profile investments in India include edtech startups like Byju’s, valued at about 22 billion USD. It has also invested in Reliance Retail, the most prominent retailer in India.
Its holdings in the SEA portfolio include PT MAP Boga Adiperkasa, a food and beverage retailer based in Indonesia, and a social entertainment platform named Kumu from the Philippines. Its most recent investments include Modulr, a fintech company based in London, UK, and Envisort, an AI-powered contract management platform from the United States.
Many tech companies have suffered in recent weeks as a byproduct of the crisis in Ukraine and soaring interest rates. SoftBank’s Vision Fund investment arm has posted a staggering loss of $26.2 billion.
Due to the challenging market conditions and decreasing values, General Atlantic is encouraging all of its portfolio companies to consider consolidation options.
“Now is the right time to consolidate,” Naik explained.