Early Stage Venture Capital investments down 11% to 33 deals in Q1’14

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Venture Capital firms invested about $92 million across 33 deals in Early Stage ventures during the quarter ended March 2014, according to data from Venture Intelligence, a research service focused on private company financials, transactions and valuations in India. The investment activity was down 11% compared to the same period last year (37 deals worth $94 million) and 10% higher than that during the immediate previous quarter (30 deals worth $81 million).

The significant sized Early Stage investments reported during Q1’14 included FidelisWorld’s $10 million investment in Smaaash Entertainment which offers augmented reality simulators to play cricket and race F1 cars, among other sports; the $10 million second round raised by online jeweller Bluestone.com  (from Kalaari Capital); the $9 million second round raised by education tablet firm iProf (from existing investors Norwest and IDG Ventures India and an education focused subsidiary of UK-based Daily Mail and General Trust) and the $8.5 million first round extension raised by data analytics & visualization startup Indix (from existing investors Nexus Ventures and US-based Avalon Ventures).

IT & ITES companies accounted for 23 investments (70% of the pie), followed by couple of investments each notched up by Healthcare & Lifesciences and Clean Energy companies. Within IT, Online Services companies accounted for 11 deals (48% of the  pie), followed by Enterprise Software with five deals (22%) and Mobile VAS with four deals (17%). Mobile payments firm EZEtap stood out by announcing two new investments during Q1’14 – first an $8 million one led by Helion Ventures (with participation from existing investors Social + Capital Partnership, Berggruen Holdings and Angel Prime) and another by Amex Ventures.

Healthcare deals were led by the $8 million follow-on round raised by eyecare focused medical devices firm Forus Healthcare (led by Asia Healthcare Fund with participation from existing investors IDG Ventures India and Accel India) followed by Tata Capital Healthcare Fund’s $3.3 million investment in renal care chain Sparsh Nephrocare. The cleantech focused Infuse Ventures announced investments in two energy focused startups – REConnect and Tessol.

 Angel Investments

Active Angel Investors (including angel networks) announced investments across 13 companies during Q1’2014. Nine of these went into IT & ITES companies, two went to Healthcare & Lifesciences companies and one each into an Education and Quick Service Restaurant company. This compares to 11 investment announced in the same period last year and 10 in the immediate previous quarter.