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December 14, 2023
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Lightbox: VC Partners’ Disillusionment Ends in Break-up.

  • Mumbai-based venture capital firm, Lightbox has experienced a turbulent year, marked by the exits of three partners including a co-founder.
  • The firm’s struggle to raise a new fund lies at the heart of these high-profile departures, with its unique style of investing – fewer but bigger cheques – failing to deliver returns.
  • Following a successful $200 million funding round in 2018, Lightbox failed to launch its planned fourth fund the following year, leaving the future of the $400 million fund uncertain.

Lightbox is a pioneering firm within the venture capital landscape, marked by its innovative approach to investment – issuing fewer but larger cheques for promising startups. However, this bold strategy appears to have fallen on hard times, with the recent exodus of three significant figures from the company. These departures include Prashant Mehta, Jeremy Wenokur and co-founder Siddharth Talwar. Their departure leaves Sandeep Murthy, a fellow co-founder, as the sole remaining partner of the $400 million fund.

The catalyst for this inner turmoil seems to stem from the firm’s unsuccessful attempts to raise a new fund. After securing a hefty sum of $200 million in 2018, Lightbox intended to establish a fourth fund the following year. These plans, unfortunately, fell through – casting a cloud of uncertainty over the future of the venture capital firm.

Speckled with successful investments in companies such as Rebel Foods, Dunzo, and Furlenco, the firm has long been considered a stalwart of the early-stage venture investing. However, the fallout from its failed funding round signals a potentially challenging period until its next successful round of fundraising.

Despite having faced a challenging year, Lightbox still portrays a confident facade, assuring investors and partners of its commitment to its unique investment approach. Yet, without the necessary funding for a new investment round, the venture capital firm may have to reconsider its strategy and perhaps revise its investment methodology.

As the face of a brave new form of early-stage venture investing, the struggles of Lightbox serve as a stark reminder of the challenges faced by venture capital firms in an increasingly competitive investment landscape. The success of their next funding round will likely play a significant role in shaping the future of this ambitious VC firm.

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