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Indian Startups Can Thrive Despite Speed Bumps, VC Investor Says

Bejul Somaia on July 11. Photographer: Carlos Jasso/Bloomberg (Carlos Jasso/Bloomberg)

(Bloomberg) -- India’s young tech companies are an attractive investment even as the country’s startup economy faces hiccups at high-profile internet firms such as fintech Paytm and online tutor Byju’s, Lightspeed Venture Partners’ Bejul Somaia said.

Digital payments pioneer Vijay Shekhar Sharma’s Paytm was hit by a regulatory order earlier this year that crippled its payments bank affiliate, while Byju’s, beset by corporate governance lapses and legal challenges, is fighting to stay in business.

Such episodes make a dent in the startup economy but India’s political stability, its booming capital markets, and its central bank’s management of interest rates and inflation make it an attractive VC destination, Somaia told Bloomberg TV’s Tom Mackenzie in an interview on Thursday.

“There are bumps in the road and they happen in all economies, and we remain quite optimistic,” Somaia said. 

Lightspeed raised $500 million for its new India and Southeast Asia fund last year. Its investments in India include online grocer Zepto, e-commerce firm Udaan and fintech Razorpay.

Also read: Zepto Targets IPO After Snagging Funds at $3.6 Billion Valuation

The VC firm, which has more than $30 billion in assets under management, is also trying to capitalize on the growing demand for artificial intelligence infrastructure. Last year it invested in France’s Mistral AI and San Francisco-based AI safety and research firm Anthropic.

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.

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