Matrix triples size of India fund

Matrix Partners India, an early stage venture firm based in Mumbai, India, and an affiliate of U.S.-based Matrix Partners, has expanded its consumer services fund from $150 million to about $450 million. The firm did not disclose the names of limited partners, but said the additional capital came from existing investors.

The venture and growth capital investment firm will now make larger growth capital investments up to $30 million in consumer services businesses while continuing to make smaller venture capital investments in early stage companies.

Avnish Bajaj

, co-founder and managing director, told ContentSutra, an Indian tech news website, that Matrix saw an opportunity because firms such as ICICI Ventures, ChrysCapital and 3i have moved north of the $30 million to $40 million range of their investments over the past few months. There is less competition outside of the hotly contested Internet and mobile space, in such sectors as financial services, media and entertainment and travel, Bajaj said.

However, he added that the firm is likely to often encounter Sequoia Capital when investing in deals in that range.

“In our first year of existence, we have made five investments in a variety of companies which play to the core of our consumer services thesis,” Bajaj said.

Among the companies Matrix has backed are Four Interactive Pte Ltd., which runs an online local information service called AskLaila for Indian consumers, Itzcash Card Ltd., which offers a pre-paid card to make purchases online and offline, Moods Hospitality Pvt. Ltd., parent company of Yo! China, India’s first and largest Chinese fast food company, and Seventymm, an online movie rental service. —Alastair Goldfisher