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Inventus VC John Dougery focuses on service startups with new $106M fund

Venture investor ‎John Dougery has twice as much money to invest from Inventus Capital’s new $106 million fund but he plans to remain focused on early stage services startups in the U.S. and India.

“Our view is that the technology industry in general is in the midst of a big change to services-led versus product-led businesses,” he told me in an interview last week when the new fund was announced.

Inventus has already begun investing from the new fund including backing e-commerce business Unbxd, insurance business PolicyBazaar in India, Bangalore-based online travel agency eDreams and database startup Espresso Logic in Santa Clara.

Here are excerpts from the interview with Dougery about how Inventus invests and what he is looking for in the 20 and 25 companies he expects to back with seed and early stage rounds from the new fund.

There have been a lot of comparatively smaller funds popping up in the last year or two. But Inventus has been around for a while, right?

Yeah, there was $52 million in the first fund we raised in 2007. There is $106 million in this fund. We purposely kept it small. Prior to forming Inventus and raising these funds together, the founding partners invested in nearly 100 companies.

We really found that the more capital efficient and service-oriented that a business is, the more productive it is to help build it. We found, in fact, that businesses often don’t behave well if a large amount of capital is made available.

So we think that the smaller fund strategy is far more productive for investors. It helps us to stay focused on the more productive types of companies, too.


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