Silicon Valley venture firm moves to India, finally -> Canaan opens office
Canaan Partners, led by Deepak Kamra, becomes one of the first to do so (here is the announcement). Kamra, who invested early in companies like Match.com and Doubleclick, says a lot of firms have flown people in to visit India, but nobody is staying to open an office.
Canaan has hired someone to work directly for Canaan there. That person is Alok Mittal, an established Indian entrepreneur and co-founder of JobsAhead.com, a leading job site in India. Mittal is also a founding member of Band of Angels India. Kamra, meanwhile, will be shuttling back and forth. There's lots of opportunity, particularly in internet and wireless, Kamra told us.
Canaan's office will be in New Delhi. That's as good as anywhere else, Kamra said, because there is no central "Silicon Valley" area in India.
Canaan made its first investment in India in 2000. There was a wave of investors in India during the late 1990s, and then everyone left after a bubble burst there too, said Kamra. Canaan has started investing in Israel, and India is Canaan's next step in a "global rollout," explains Kamra. He says China might be next.
He says there are 30 million Internet users in India, and that it has reached a stage of Internet usage where China was three years ago.
Kamra made us chuckle when he talked about the Indian venacular. A founder is called a " promoter" and a business concept is called a "scheme," he explained. So when someone introduces you as a promoter of a scheme, that's actually a good thing in India, he says.
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