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LexCounsel helps set up 'innovative' VC fund

LexCounsel-Seema_Jhingan_crop
LexCounsel-Seema_Jhingan_crop
Delhi firm LexCounsel has advised the LeapStart Trust in setting up a Rs 50 crore ($11m) close-ended venture capital fund, that aims to capitalise on the resurgent market opportunities in India in various sectors.

The fund is dubbed the 'Innovative India Business Fund' and seeks to invest in sectors such as clean energy, education and infrastructure delivery and management services.

The Trust has made an application to be registered as a VC fund with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on October 15, which is set to complete within four to five weeks.

LexCounsel co-founding partner Seema Jhingan (pictured) led on the deal and said: "The last quarter of 2008 witnessed a change in the investment landscape worldwide with India being no exception.

"The period prior that foresaw irrational and artificial valuation by investee companies which took a severe beating during the last one year making both the PE/ VC funds and the investee companies wary of investments."

"Now the stage is set for greater investments, primarily for three reasons," added Jhingan. "Improvement of the economic scenario, proper due diligence done by investor groups and rationalised valuation of investee company's assets and business potential."

On top of this quite a few investments were now taking place as a result of entrepreneurial activities by people who lost their jobs during the recession, she said.

The Investment Manager of LeapStart Trust is InSync Advisors, which was founded by Vivek Bihani and Sorabh Gupta.

InSync Advisors also has an advisory board for providing operational support to the proposed investee companies, which includes Jhingan as legal adviser. A mentor group of successful entrepreneurs is responsible for guiding the next generation of entrepreneurs in achieving their objectives.

The fund has a green shoe option that allows the underwriter to sell another Rs 50 crores of shares to investors if demand is high.

LexCounsel's team also included counsel Sandeep Balakrishnan and associate Sahil Sood.

The firm was founded in 2004 and now has around 18 lawyers.

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