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Tandem Capital launches third seed-stage fund, announces investment in Shoptimize

NEW DELHI: Silicon Valley-based mobile technology-focused accelerator, Tandem Capital, which launched its third early-stage fund, Tandem Habit Fund III on Monday, also announced its first investment from the new fund in Pune-based startup Shoptimize.

The latest investment, estimated at between $200,000 and $250,000, will see 
Tandem Capital take a 15% to 20% stake in the 9 month-old venture, which has developed a mobile commerce platform for traditional merchants in emerging markets.

The investment is the first such institutional 
funding for Shoptimize , which also operates Cooliyo, a service that curates content across various segments, allowing for easier browsing experience for online shoppers.

The $100 million (Rs 591.6 crore) Tandem Habit Fund, which also has a green-shoe option of an additional $25 million (Rs 147.9 crore), counts Manipal Education and Medical Group head 
Ranjan Pai and former Infosys director Mohandas Pai as its backers. The fund is founded and promoted by Rohit Bhagat, the former head of Boston Consulting Group, India and former Xerox, Oracle and HP executive Sunil Bhargava.

Along with Shoptimize, the fund also announced its 
investments in mobile infrastructure startup PacketZoom and mobile e-payments venture AcceptPay. Traditionally, investments are, on average, for about three years, and the 10-year, California-based fund will look to deploy its entire corpus over the next three to four years.

According to the fund's founders, Tandem Habit Fund III will make about 80 to 90 early-stage investments over its life cycle, and has set aside about $25 million (Rs 147.9 crore) of the fund's corpus for the same. 
The rest of the capital will be used to make follow-on investments in portfolio companies.

Tandem Capital's first fund, the $12 million (Rs 71 crore) Tandem -I was set up in 2007, and had invested in nine startups, exiting eight of the ventures. It continues to be an investor in mobile game developer PlayHaven, which raised venture funding of about $8 million (Rs 47.3 crore) last year. About 2X cash has been returned to investors, according to the firm's partners.

Tandem Capital's second 
seed-stage fund, Tandem -II, launched in late 2010 and early-2011 with a corpus of $32 million (Rs 189.3 crore), counts Bangalore-based gaming portal Bash Gaming among its list of portfolio companies.