Mayfield opens shop in India

US venture capital firm Mayfield hires Nikhil Khattau and Vikram Godse to represent the firm in India.
Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm Mayfield becomes the newest kid on the block in India, opening an office and hiring Nikhil Khattau and Vikram Godse to run it.

Mayfield will focus on investments in the consumer services (retail, entertainment and travel), infrastructure (power, roads, buildings and waste disposal), manufacturing and offshore sectors in the country.

Khattau was earlier the founding chief executive of Sun F&C Asset Management, one of India's first private-sector asset managers, which is now part of the Principal Financial Group.

Godse was a founder of JM Financial Investment Managers, an Indian private equity fund. Before that he worked in India for the investment unit of Cisco and for Infinity Venture Capital, one of India's first venture capital firms.

Mayfield's investments in India are led by two managing directors who are based in the US, Navin Chaddha and Robin Vasan. Last year, the firm closed two investments in the country: an investment in telecom equipment maker Tejas Networks India; and a stake in Seedfund, a $15 million seed-stage venture fund. Financial details of both deals have not been disclosed.

Mayfield, which was founded in 1969, has $2.6 billion under management in the US, China and India. It has invested in around 470 companies of which 100 have gone public.

In January, Mayfield closed a $200 million early-stage technology fund dedicated to China investments - it is a limited partner with GSR in this fund.

A spurt in entrepreneurial activity among young Indians has led to a growing demand for venture capital. Returning non-resident Indians, as well as those living in the country, are setting up small and medium enterprises. Mayfield becomes the latest VC fund to tap into the opportunity and back the next round of success stories.
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