Avendus, top India venture advisor, seeks $300 million for new PE fund

Mike Powers
Avendus, top India venture advisor, seeks 0 million for new PE fund

Avendus, India’s leading investment bank for venture deals, is looking to raise about $300 million for its private equity unit, according to three sources familiar with the matter.

The Mumbai-based firm, backed by U.S. private equity giant KKR, has established itself as the top financial advisor in India, working with popular growth-stage startups including Zepto, LensKart, XpressBees, CaratLane, and Atomberg on their funding rounds last year.

With its third private equity fund, Avendus plans to write larger checks more frequently, one of the sources said. The firm raised its second fund, amounting to around $185 million, in 2021. Its maiden fund was $50 million in size.

The sources requested anonymity to discuss private matters. An Avendus spokesperson declined to comment.

Avendus first gained prominence as India’s startup ecosystem first started to take shape, capitalizing on the fact that many of its well-known rivals — including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and JP Morgan — initially paid less attention to the Indian market. That was partly due to deal sizes in the early days: typically they were under $30 million, not substantial enough to generate significant fees, making it less attractive for many banner names to engage.

But as the Indian startup ecosystem flourished in the past decade, becoming the third-largest in the world, it has attracted global giants including SoftBank, Tiger Global, and General Atlantic, as well as sovereign wealth funds like Temasek, GIC, ADIA, Khazanah, PIB, and Mubadala, which have collectively poured tens of billions of dollars into startups small and large in India.

Avendus employs over 150 bankers and was the top financial advisor in India last year. It provided services in over 30 deals, including merger and acquisition transactions, according to Venture Intelligence, a private market insight platform.

In the past decade, similar to financial advisors in other regions, Avendus has diversified its offerings, venturing into wealth management, credit financing, and private equity. Last year, the firm also expanded its financial advisory services to the Southeast Asian region.

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