Matrix VC to invest in Indian tech firms

By siliconindia staff writer   |   Tuesday, 25 January 2005, 08:00 Hrs
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BANGALORE: Matrix Partners, the US-based leading venture capital firm, is scouting for technology start-ups and IT firms in the Indian subcontinent to make strategic investments.

Having invested in similar start-ups and tech firms in the US, which were either promoted by Indian entrepreneurs or operating their subsidiaries in India for off-shoring or outsourcing, Matrix sees India as a growth opportunity and hopes to nurture the entrepreneurial spirit in the Indian tech sector.

"We are on the look-out for potential start-ups or existing IT firms that are involved in cutting-edge technologies and have prospects of tapping new technology business with their products and services," Matrix general partners Tim Barrows said Tuesday.

"Our strategy is to invest in those companies we perceive to have the potential to create new markets in software, communications equipment, semiconductors, storage, Internet and wireless," Barrows said.

The Boston-based VC firm had invested about 40 percent of the $500 million funds it had raised two years ago in 27 US tech firms that have presence in India to develop new products and services in multiple domains.

"Due to recession and tech slowdown during the last two years, we have been cautious and selective in identifying the right companies that could guarantee good returns for our portfolio investments," Barrows said.

By opening its India office in Bangalore, Matrix is hoping to make its first investments in Indian firms in the next three-six months. Though some of the start-ups or IT firms have been identified, their names or location have not been disclosed since due diligence is yet to be completed.

"We perhaps have had more success backing Indian-led tech firms than any other VC firm in the US, thanks to the enterprising spirit of their Indian founders," Barrows said.

Some of the firms in which Matrix has portfolio investments are Sycomore Networks of Gururaj Despande, Cascade Communications, Sonus Networks, Apollo Computer, SANDisk, Veritas, OpenWave, Tivoli Systems and Aleton Web Systems.

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