New Enterprise Associates in India: The Agile International Venture Capital Firm

Case Solution

Pamela Yatsko, Peter Ziebelman
Stanford Graduate School of Business ()

A growing current account deficit, skyrocketing interest rates, and a falling currency – these were just a few of the troubling trends in India that Krishna ‘Kittu’ Kolluri considered on his 20-hour flight back from Mumbai to Silicon Valley in September. 2013 General Partner, working at New Enterprise Associates (NEA), which made investments in India, reflected how the American venture capital firm had allocated $ 200 million from its global fund of $ 2.6 billion to investments in the subcontinent as only 18 months before. Now, Kolluri considered recommending changes to NEA’s India strategy at the venture capital company’s quarterly general meeting of partners in October in Washington, DC, and missing out on lucrative investment opportunities in India if NEA went too safe. This case takes a closer look at how a venture capital firm develops and implements a strategy for investing outside of the United States. Showcases US venture capital firm NEA’s response to globalization and shrinking of the US venture capital industry through an innovative global fund strategy that emphasizes agility in investment decision making in and within regions and sectors. The case focuses specifically on NEA activities in India to illustrate the various elements of this strategy. Challenges students to analyze the benefits and challenges of investing in an emerging market, both logistically and culturally half a world away, through a large US-based cross-border venture fund. Students evaluate the strategy of NEA global funds and determine the best investment strategy in India given the deteriorating macroeconomic situation in the country at the time. You will examine NEA’s decision-making processes, communication channels, and incentive systems for its practice in India. You’ll gain a deeper understanding of what an American venture capital firm like NEA expects from portfolio companies in emerging markets and what those portfolio companies will get in return.

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