The Los Altos, California-headquartered venture capital firm’s latest investment vehicle has been backed by the likes of Vulcan Capital, the investment arm of Vulcan Inc, the company founded by Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul G. Allen, US private markets investment manager Adams Street Partners, the family office of Marc Andreessen, and Chris Dixon, both partners at Silicon Valley investment powerhouse Andreessen Horowitz.
“Our deep data expertise allows us to take a different approach, leveraging data science, technology and analytics to find the best companies anywhere, at any stage, in any market. We’re excited to be at the forefront of this shift and use our experience to help founders successfully build their companies, regardless of location,” Sailesh Ramakrishnan, Partner at Rocketship.vc, said.
Founded by Anand Rajaraman and Venky Harinarayan, both of whom were serial entrepreneurs and have also worked in senior roles across Amazon and Walmart, Rocketship.vc claims to use machine learning and data science to identify and place its bets across sectors and geographies, rather than banking on personal meetings, as is the norm, to strike deals. Rajaraman was also an angel investor in Facebook and Lyft.
The firm, whose maiden investment vehicle was a $40 million fund that closed in 2015, has been a growing presence in India, having invested more than $14 million in Asia’s third-largest economy till date.
“Our algorithms provide us global deal flow removing the need to have local offices. However, we have deep connections with both founders and investors and expect to develop them further,” Ramakrishnan told ET over email.
It counts the likes of business-to-business industrial goods marketplace Moglix, mobility startup Yulu, online realty portal NoBroker and digital credit ledger Khatabook, among its portfolio in the country, and has scored two exits so far.
In 2019, Reliance acquired a majority stake in fashion portal Fynd, while Naspers-owned fintech major PayU also acquired a controlling stake in digital credit platform Paysense at a $185 million valuation in January earlier this year.
“For the last few years, our algorithms have been identifying amazing opportunities in India which is why it is the second-largest country by dollars in our portfolio. During Covid-19, several sectors like ecommerce, cloud and ed-tech etc, have strong tailwinds in India, and we expect to invest in them,” Ramakrishnan told ET over email.
Overall, Rocketship.vc has invested in 44 companies across seed, Series A and B rounds, with 46% of its investments outside the US, according to data shared by the investment firm.
“Venture Capital is undergoing its biggest shift in decades. As entrepreneurship goes global, firms are recognising that the traditional Silicon Valley-based networking approach of VC is unable to scale to the new reality of meeting startups wherever they are,” Ramakrishnan said.