Lee Fixel returns with Addition, leads $35m round in Inshorts

MUMBAI: After nearly two years, Lee Fixel, the media shy former fund manager at Tiger Global and widely hailed as the big bull of India’s consumer internet story, is back to investing in local startups.

Fixel, who launched his own $1.3 billion fund Addition in the United States earlier this year, has led a $35 million round in Inshorts, a platform which aggregates news and information. He had first backed Inshorts while at Tiger Global in 2015, having cut a $4 million cheque for the startup.

His maiden bet in India from Addition comes at a time when New York-based Tiger Global has been actively investing in the country under Scott Shleifer — who took over the private equity portfolio of the firm last year after Fixel’s departure — with recent big investments include Zomato and Byju’s.

Inshorts’ founder and CEO, Azhar Iqubal, confirmed to ET that the company had raised $35 million from Addition, SIG Global and Tanglin Venture Partners. Inshorts will use the funds to push its recently launched app Public, a location-based social network. The platform is used for updates to local commerce, jobs, classifieds and more, the company said.

“We are profitable at Inshorts and raised this capital for our new app Public. With more than 50 million active users and over 1 million videos being created every month on the app, Public aims to connect the local communities of Bharat and become the one-stop solution for all their local needs,” Iqubal said.

A source earlier told ET that Inshorts was clocking $13 million in revenue, with earnings before interest taxation depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) of $5 million.

The company’s valuation is believed to have hit $120 million following the investment.

Fixel’s biggest win in India came from Flipkart’s $16 billion sale to Walmart in 2018. After the acquisition though, Tiger started moving away from focussing only on consumer internet firms and began taking wagers on enterprise and software as a service companies under Shleifer.

Through Addition, Fixel has invested in DLocal, a cross-border payment processor, mental health startup Lyra Health, developer-first security company Snyk, among others.

Lee Fixel returns with Addition, leads $35m round in Inshorts Lee Fixel returns with Addition, leads $35m round in Inshorts Reviewed by TechCO on 10/04/2020 Rating: 5

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