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Smile Group forms $100M joint venture Katalyzers with TPG


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katalyzersSmile Group has created a joint venture with TPG Growth called Katalyzers that will help companies in the marketplace, classified listings, local commerce, digital media, e-commerce and mobile space rollout their businesses across Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa.

Katalyzers, is backed with $100 million in funding and has set up offices in Singapore and San Francisco apart from India. It also has presence in China, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America through partner offices of Smile and TPG.

Smile Group Founder Harish Bahl told Medianama that the new entity will be targeted at Silicon Valley based companies that want to expand its operations to developing markets. Katalyzer will be more of an operational company than a fund and it will also cater to companies from India or anywhere else that is on a high growth path and needs a partner to take them international.

Katalyzer will provide these companies access to a ready pool of senior managers and entrepreneurs with domain knowledge in these markets, capital, infrastructure including office space and in house marketing and legal team. Companies approaching these markets via Katalyzers will also get media support group GroupM and SVG that are associated with Smile Group in India.

Bahl will be the General Partner in the new entity, while Keith Nilsson and David Gowdey of TPG have joined as as board members. Rishabh Kumar of Smile Group will be Vice President, while David Trujillo and Sahil Vohra have joining as advisor and general counsel respectively.

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In the past, Smile Group has helped with the the international expansion of companies like AirBnb.com, which it set up here in 2012 in association with Springstar; WPP Digital which had acquired a controlling stake in Smile Interactive’s Quasar Media in 2007 and had even formed a joint venture with Yahoo called Tyroo.

TPG Growth is the growth equity investment arm of TPG, and invests in companies that focus on North America and Asia. Recent technology investments include Uber, Domo, Survey Monkey, Success Factors, RentPath, AdKnowledge, Redbook Connect, among others . It has 17 offices around the globe, including San Francisco, London, Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Melbourne, Moscow, Mumbai, New York, Paris, São Paulo, Shanghai, Singapore and Tokyo among others.

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