Nilekani’s Venture Capital Fund Makes Its Maiden Investment In A Travel Startup
A growth-stage venture capital fund backed by Nandan Nilekani today made its first investment in TravelTriangle, an online marketplace for holiday packages.
The Noida-based travel startup has raised Rs 78 crore ($12 million) in fresh round of funding led by Fundamentum Partnership, founded by Infosys co-founder and former chairman Nilekani and Helion Ventures founder Sanjeev Aggarwal, it said in a media statement. Existing investors SAIF Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners, RB investments and a clutch of angel investors also participated in the round. As part of the deal, Ashish Kumar, partner at Fundamentum, will join the TravelTriangle board.
The fund-raise comes at a time when the Indian travel market is projected to grow at 11-11.5 percent to $48 billion by 2020, according to a report by the Boston Consulting Group and Google India.
TravelTriangle will use the funds to invest in building technology that to strengthen the customer interaction layer using artificial intelligence and machine learning. A part of investment will also toward expanding to newer destinations and investing in brand building. The startup has already achieved operating profitability, and is on track to become Ebitda profitable by next year, TravelTriangle said in its statement.
Founded in 2011, the startup connects customers with local travel agents on a single platform. It has close to 700 active travel agents operating through the platform, according to information on its website.
In a separate statement, Nilekani his VC fund met more than 50 companies before finalising the TravelTriangle. “We believe that this team is amongst the very best that we have seen in the Indian technology ecosystem, by virtue of their learnability, customer-centricity, frugality, and hunger to build a very large business.”
A $100 million proposed fund extendable to $200 million, Fundamentum was launched last year by duo to back growth stage consumer technology businesses. At that time, it had said that it will lead investment rounds in the range of $10-25 million. Last month the fund raised $20 million from Canadian pension fund Caisse de Dépôt et Placement du Québec (CDPQ).