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NEA-IndoUS raises $189.4 MM
Bangalore, July 7, 2007: NEA-IndoUS Ventures, the India-focused VC fund promoted by Vinod Dham, the father of the Pentium chip, Vani Kola, Silicon Valley entrepreneur & Kumar Shiralagi, the former head of Intel Capital in India, has just closed with $189.4 million in the kitty.

"We had a target of $150 million and a cap of $200 million for the fund," Vinod Dham, founder and executive MD, NEA-IndoUS Ventures, told ET from Silicon Valley. The fund for which co-founder and MD Vani Kola moved to Bangalore from Silicon Valley last year, has been set up in partnership with one of the world's biggest PE & VC firms - the Menlo Park-based New Enterprise Associates (NEA) that has a committed capital of over $8.5 billion across 13 funds.

"Having NEA as co-sponsors helps us to leverage the brand value of the giant fund. Besides, NEA's general partners such as Kittu Kolluri help us with advise and sometimes with due diligence of our companies. As partners of the top-tier VC firm, they are like coaches for some of our companies and their management teams.

The credibility and network of NEA will also help some of our companies when they reach the next level," Mr Dham said. NEA has invested independently in ISGN Technologies which is also among NEA IUV's investments. Besides, NEA has its own India team that evaluates late stage and more mature companies in India and PE deals. NEA partner Ben Mathias, who is also the V-P of the Indian operations, shares NEA IUV's office in Bangalore.

The three partners are now planning to start NEA Indo-US Ventures II in about two years from now. "While typically deployment is usually in four year periods, it takes about 2-3 years to exit from most companies," Mr Shiralagi said. Meanwhile, Mr Dham's earlier fund NewPath Ventures continues to remain a standalone early stage fund. "NewPath is into funding companies that are in the R&D space.

It is more of an incubator," Mr Dham said. For NEAIUV, he largely takes care of the cross-border component while his other two partners, Mr Shiralagi & Ms Kola in India handle the day to day operations and management issues. NEA IUV has invested in seven companies over the last year - InSilica, Obopay, Minekey, Microqual Techno ($10-million as PE), FlightRaja ($5m), ISGN Technologies & KRK Labs.

"The companies that we are investing in could be based either in India or the US. The India equation, however, is very important for all our investments," Mr Shiralagi added. "In some cases, such as KRK Labs, we will also look at an incubation model too," he said. All three of us have a background in technology and we will look for companies that are in the IT or tech-enabled space. They could be across IT, telecom, media, entertainment with a market in US, India or a mix of both,"



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