NewQuest buys DFJ India portfolio

The direct secondaries specialist has acquired a portfolio of India-focused assets that include energy, online services and travel-related portfolio companies.

Hong Kong’s NewQuest Capital Partners has purchased a portfolio of India-focused assets from venture and growth capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ), Secondaries Investor understands.

DFJ ran a limited auction process with a few potential buyers including HarbourVest Partners, according to two sources familiar with the deal. NewQuest ultimately acquired the assets and the total net asset value was under $30 million, one of the sources said.

It was not clear whether NewQuest used its 2013-vintage NewQuest Asia Fund II, which was over 80 percent committed as of February, or its latest vehicle, Asia Fund III to purchase the assets.

The deal, which began as early as 18 months ago, reportedly included stakes in between 8 to 10 companies including Cleartrip, a travel website; Attero Recycling, an electronics recycling management firm; renewable energy generation company Bharat Light and Power and online photography company Canvera Digital.

Mohanjit Jolly, who established DFJ’s India office and was responsible for its portfolio, will help NewQuest manage the assets, one of the sources said. A potential buyer who had looked at the offer expressed concerns about the assets being managed solely by Jolly, describing the portfolio as a “one-man show”.

DFJ makes seed, early, and growth stage investments in mainly consumer, enterprise and technology sectors, according to its website. The firm was established in 1985 has $6 billion in assets under management, according to PEI Research and Analytics.

NewQuest had surpassed the $500 million target for its NewQuest Asia Fund III by  March, as Secondaries Investor previously reported. The fund, which has a $520 million hard-cap, is expected to hold a final close in the second quarter of this year and will focus on the Chinese and Indian markets.

NewQuest declined to comment. DFJ did not return requests for comment.