After five years of honing her investor technology skills at Susquehanna Growth Equity, Shalin Mehta is now a solo general partner at her own growth equity firm, securing $85 million in capital commitments for her debut fund.
While at Susquehanna, the 29-year-old led investments in companies, including NoRedInk and MuckRack. Now with SEVAa company he started earlier this year, Mehta seeks to invest in New York-based customer-centric founders of fast-growing, bootstrapped companies to scale through profitable growth, he told TechCrunch.
Mehta and three other team members lead SEVA, a name inspired by a Sanskrit word that means “selfless service.”
“That means being in service,” Mehta explained. “If anything, I’ve been serving the last decade of my career, these are the founders of customer-centric companies. That’s why I decided to start SEVA earlier this year.”
SEVA joins a growing list of emerging fund managers debuting their first funds this year, including Avra, Faction Ventures, Yellow, Garuda Ventures, Ovni Capital, Oversubscribed Ventures, Emblem, Venture Guides, The Family Fund and Phenomenal Ventures.
Unlike some emerging fund managers who had challenges raising the first funds last year, SEVA was able to close $85 million in a short time – four months – even more than the original target of $50 million.
Funding support comes from institutional investors, university endowments, charitable foundations, family offices and founders Mehta invested in while in his earlier roles at Susquehanna and Spectrum Equity. Those bootstrapped founders are similar to the founders SEVA is looking to invest in, he said.
Mehta has not yet made any investments from SEVA Fund I. The plans are to invest in eight to 10 companies from the first fund in the next three to five years, writing $5 million to $15 million checks to profitable, founder-led companies, he said. His expertise is in internet, software, data, market and technology enabled service companies.
In addition, Mehta has developed a network of founders and growth-stage technology executives to collaborate with portfolio companies in areas such as strategic planning, executive hiring and go-to-market, to help them continue to long-term growth and profitability, as well. as exit planning.
Meanwhile, Mehta sees SEVA as a bit different than other investment firms – like between private equity and venture capital.
“I’ve dedicated my entire investment career to investing in bootstrapped or founder-led, profitable, fast-growing, technology-enabled companies, those that don’t need venture capital or growth-stage ventures or they don’t want to sell control,” Mehta said. “They want more consigliere. We’re not a billion-dollar growth equity or buyout company, we’re in the middle of where the founders and companies we work for. They don’t need us, they want us.”