Terry Garnett, managing director of Garnett & Helfrich Capital prefers to call his venture capital firm a ‘venture buyout’ company. Incorporated in March 2004, Garnett & Helfrich Capital has already raised $350 million in funds. Unlike traditional venture capitalists, Garnett & Helfrich Capital does not invest in start-ups or newly-formed companies. In the emerging venture buyout segment, it focuses on mid-sized technology spinouts.
Garnett & Helfrich Capital has already added three companies including Wyse Technology, Ingres Corp and Blade Network Technologies to its portfolio. The company recently announced its investment in Open Water Inc, a software company and Celunite, a provider of Linux-based mobile platform solutions and services. Garnett & Helfrich Capital is currently in the process of raising a $850 million second-fund which it aims to close by this year end.
Prior to co-founding Garnett & Helfrich Capital with David Helfrich, Garnett was both a general partner and venture partner with Venrock Associates, the technology venture capital arm of the Rockefeller Family. Garnett has served in a number of major technology companies including Oracle where he was the member of Oracle’s executive managing committee. He was the co-founder and investor in Crossworlds Software Inc, which went public and was later sold to IBM. FE’s Somasroy Chakraborty caught up with Terry Garnett recently to discuss the company’s expansion plans in India. Excerpts:
Can you talk about your investment plans in India?
In the past few years, most of our investments have had an Indian component. Out of the five deals we have completed so far, two of them had Indian entrepreneurs. So I think, going forward we will continue with the same model. Whether the investments are in the US, North America or Europe there will probably be components that are actually here in India. We are looking at businesses that are based in India.
Are you talking to entrepreneurs based in India?
Yes. There is a possibility (of business) and we have got some of those conversations going on right now. But I cannot say when they are likely happen but we are definitely into discussions.
In a consumer-driven economy like India what will be your area of focus? Would you be focusing more on consumer-oriented sectors?
We would consider investments where it is more customer-oriented. We have been investing in some large-scale systems but what we are doing in the mobile phone area is again more consumer-oriented.
So far most of