Big Changes at Battery Ventures

A bunch of changes over at Battery Ventures: Mark Sherman and Battery have “come to the mutual conclusion” that Sherman will leave the firm once the new investment period of Battery VIII is concluded. That apparently will be at the end of Q1 2010, which means that new blue books might be out before year-end (seems a bit fast to me — considering that the firm raised $1 billion in 07/08 — but this is straight from a firm spokeswoman).

Sherman had been part of the firm’s push into India, but that now will be scaled back significantly. Battery will no longer build a team in Mumbai, instead focusing on India investments out of Silicon Valley. Guatam Patel, currently Battery’s sole employee in Mumbai, will leave to “seek other opportunities.” That move also is expected to occur at the end of Q1 2010. (kudos to VentureWire for the initial scoop).

Here is the complete statement emailed over by Battery this morning:

After considerable thought and review, we have come to the mutual conclusion that Mark will not be a General Partner in Battery IX.  He will stay with Battery through the new investment period of our current fund, which is expected to end in Q1 next year.  He will transition his board positions to other Battery partners toward the end of this year. Mark’s been an integral part of our team for the past decade, we thank him for his many contributions and wish him well.

Specifically how it affects our strategy in India, then: We believe in the potential of India as a strategic investment market, and have 3 companies in the portfolio.  With Mark’s departure, however, we have made a decision to delay building out our team in Mumbai and will continue to invest in India from the US via a commuter model, as we have since 2004.  Silicon Valley-based Ramneek Gupta will lead investments in the country.

Not wanting to operate as the lone employee in Mumbai, our partner currently on the ground there, Gautam Patel, has chosen to seek other opportunities.  He will also remain with Battery through the new investment period of our current fund.