Bertelsmann to invest $500 million in tech startups

Haripriya Sureban | Updated on: Jun 28, 2022
Pankaj Makkar, Managing Director, Bertelsmann India Investments

Pankaj Makkar, Managing Director, Bertelsmann India Investments

BII has to date invested a total of about $285 million in startups.

Bertelsmann India Investments (BII). fund will make new and follow-on investments totalling €470 million (around $500 million) under the program Group-wide Boost 25 strategy.  

As part of its Boost program, the fund plans to invest between €5 billion and €7 billion by 2025, with a view to further increasing the group’s level of revenues and profits.

It has also announced an Early Stage Program, with which it will pave its way into Series A investments. With the kickoff of the program, BII plans to partner with existing venture capitalists and entrepreneurs to make selective Series A investments – both as lead or follow-on investments and make three to four such deals annually.

Pankaj Makkar, Managing Director, BII, told BusinessLine,“the early stage startup ecosystem has matured significantly in the last couple of years, entrepreneurs know exactly what they are doing early on, hence the risk of investing in early stage startups has come down.” Although some startup valuations have come down due to funding slowdown, the VC sentiment for the early stage ecosystem has remained bullish, he added. 

BII will continue to invest in tech-driven sectors such as Health-Tech, Enterprise-Tech, Future of Work, Fintech, Agritech, Deeptech, Web3. The fund will identify tech-enabled, mission-driven, sustainable businesses that are still young to nurture them. Makkar added, “the mandate of the fund is sector agnostic, the fund will look to invest in startups that aim at disrupting the entire sector they operate in.” 

Earlier, BII has done two to three deals in a year, and now it will move to 6-8 deals a year including Series A and mid-stage investments. For the core mid-stage investing program, BII will continue to lead the rounds with a ticket size of $5 to $20 million as an initial investment. The investment may go up to as much as $40 million during the life of the selected startup. 

BII’s current investments include Eruditus, Licious, Shiprocket, Pepperfry, among others. BII has to date invested a total of about $285 million in startups.

Published on June 28, 2022
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