Shalin Mehta is a solo general partner at his own growth equity company, having spent five years honing his tech investing chops at Susquehanna Growth Equity. He has raised $85 million for his debut fund.
The 29-year-old oversaw investments in businesses like MuckRack and NoRedInk while at Susquehanna. Mehta told TechCrunch that he plans to invest in customer-focused founders of rapidly expanding, bootstrapped firms in New York through his company, SEVA, which he founded earlier this year, to help them scale through profitable growth.
Mehta and the other three team members run SEVA, which means “selfless service” in Sanskrit.
Mehta said, “That means to be in service.” “In” the final ten years of my work, I have, if anything, aided founders and businesses that prioritize the needs of their customers. I decided to launch SEVA earlier this year for that reason.
Along with Avra, Faction Ventures, Yellow, Garuda Ventures, Ovni Capital, Oversubscribed Ventures, Emblem, Venture Guides, The Family Fund, and Phenomenal Ventures, SEVA is the latest in a long list of up-and-coming fund managers launching their first funds this year.
In contrast to several up-and-coming fund managers who faced difficulties obtaining their first capital within the previous year, SEVA closed on $85 million in just four months, surpassing its initial goal of $50 million.
The fund’s backers are institutional investors, family offices, philanthropic organizations, university endowments, and founders who Mehta backed at Susquehanna and Spectrum Equity. He stated that the founders SEVA plans to invest in are similar to those bootstrapped.
Mehta has not yet invested in any SEVA Fund I assets. He said that over the next three to five years, plans call for investing in eight to ten profitable, founder-led enterprises through investments of $5 million to $15 million. These investments will come from the first fund. His areas of expertise are technology-enabled service companies, marketplaces, software, data, and the Internet.
Mehta has also developed a network of founders and growth-stage technology executives with whom portfolio businesses can collaborate on things like executive recruiting, go-to-market strategies, and strategic planning to support long-term growth, profitability, and exit strategies.
On the other hand, Mehta believes that SEVA is rare among investment firms, existing somewhere in ween venture capital and private equity.
“I’ve dedicated my entire investing 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 don’t want to control them,” Mehta added. “Hey, you desire a consigliere that is more. We operate more like a middle-sized growth equity or buyout firm, catering to the needs of the founders and businesses we work with. They want us; they don’t need us.