Former Tiger Global fund manager Lee Fixel, known for making the VC firm’s biggest investments in the Indian consumer internet startups, has made his first bet in India from his newly setup USD 1.3 billion-fund Addition.
Fixel has invested USD 35 million in Indian news aggregator app Inshorts, along with SIG Global and Tanglin Venture Partners. The deal values the startup at about USD 125 million, according to a TechCrunch report.
Inshorts has raised money for its new venture, Public, which is a location-based social networking app. Launched in April 2019, it offers users local news and updates on commerce, jobs, and classifieds among other things, as well as videos from the local community.
“We are profitable at Inshorts and raised this capital for our new app Public,” Azhar Iqubal, founder and chief executive of Inshorts told local media Economic Times.
With more than 50 million active users and over 1 million videos being created every month on the app, Public aims to connect the local communities in non-metro cities and become the one-stop solution for all their local needs, Iqubal said. The new funding will reportedly help Public deepen its penetration across India.
Fixel had previously backed Inshorts in 2015 by putting in USD 4 million, while he was with Tiger. Now, the Noida-headquartered startup has become the first Indian startup to get funding from Addition. The venture capital firm has backed about six diversified startups including US-based Odeko, an ordering and supply chain management platform for cafés; London-headquartered Synk, which develops tools used to identify vulnerabilities; dLocal, a cross-border payments technology platform from the UK, and California-based mental health startup Lyra Health.
Fixel is known for identifying and backing promising startups in the country for Tiger Global and has been in Forbes Midas List six times. He is best known for leading Tiger Global’s investment in tech startups such as Flipkart, Ola, Delhivery, and Quikr, among others. He was one of the first backers of Flipkart that went on to become the poster-child of India’s e-commerce sector. In 2018, when American retailer Walmart acquired Flipkart for USD 16 billion, the exit gave the firm a return of USD 3.5 billion.
He quit the New York-based VC firm as a partner in June 2019 after 13 years.
After leaving the firm, he started the process of launching a billion-dollar fund, Addition, which he rolled out earlier in July as soon as his non-compete agreement with his former employer expired. This is his first investment in India in almost two years.
From Addition, Fixel is looking to back multi-stage startups. He has kicked off his investments in India at a time when his previous employer, Tiger Global, is actively investing in the South Asian nation under Scott Shleifer, who took over as Fixel’s position after his departure. Some of its recent big investments include Zomato and Byju’s.