SiliconBeat has a post on Canaan Partners opening office in New Delhi. Its Indian operations will be headed by Deepak Kamra, who had earlier invested in companies like Match.com and Doubleclick. Kamra will be dividing his time between india and the US. Alok Mittal, former co-founder of JobsAhead.com and the man who was looking after early stage and tech investments at Baring Private Equity, has joined the fund as a partner and will be stationed in India permanently.
Canaan’s focus is likely to be early stage, and it’s very pertinent to note that since all early stage guys like Sequoia India (former WestBridge) will now look at growth stage. KP Balaraj, Sequoia India MD, had recently stated that they were raising another $300-400 million India fund to fund growth or expansion capital requirements.
Updated: Canaan will indeed focus on the internet and wireless investments. “India historically has had a strong cultural bias for innovation, and now with proven technical talent and a strong local market, we believe the time is ripe for entrepreneurship to flourish. We are ready to provide first rounds of institutional capital and are already receiving many interesting business proposals,” said Alok Mittal, executive director, Canaan India.
Canaan Partners had in 2000 invested in Aztec Software, a software development firm, and in e4e, a diversified business-outsourcing firm. These were intentionally late-stage investments, Kamra noted, because early-stage investments were risky and management talent was scarce at the time. With an office in place, Canaan will now focus on early- and mid-stage investments, which offer greater growth potential, says the release here.