VC Earmarks $200M For Indian IT Startups

A prominent Silicon Valley venture capital firm is betting that India’s
burgeoning IT economy has more to offer than high-skilled, low-cost
workers.

Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ) will invest up to $200 million for startups in
the nation. Tim Draper, the firm’s founder and managing director, announced
the move while traveling in India this week, according to Indian press
reports.

A spokeswoman for Menlo Park, Calif.-based DFJ was not available to provide
additional details.

DFJ, which has invested in a number of tech winners, including Skype, isn’t
the only firm taking an interest in India. VCs pumped $528 million into
28 India-based companies during the most recent quarter, according to
Venture Intelligence India.

That figure is up from the $395 million raised by 36 companies in the
previous quarter, and the $90 million invested in eight companies in the
same period last year, the research firm reported.

In addition, a recent survey by the National Venture Capital Association and
Deloitte & Touche found that U.S.-based venture capitalists expect to
increase their global investments, especially in India and China.

Besides the new fund, DFJ is taking other steps to boost entrepreneurship in
India. It has teamed with The Indus Entrepreneurs (TIE) to organize India’s
first nationwide business plan competition.

The contest is open to students as well as established entrepreneurs and
will be run from four regional centers: New Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and
Bangalore. The teams will be guided through two evaluation rounds by TIE
mentors.

The first prizewinner will receive seed financing of $100,000 from DFJ to
build their business. Winners will be picked in early February.

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