IDG Ventures India, a $150 million early-stage technology venture capital fund, on Wednesday announced its investment of $3 million in Aujas Networks, a pure-play digital security services start-up.
Aujas offers security services across a broad range of technologies including core wireless networks, voice over internet protocol (VoIP) and cyber forensics. These security services can be productised for key sectors like telecom, banking, financial services and insurance, and defence.
This is the seventh investment being made by IDG Ventures India in the country. Its portfolio consists of Manthan Systems, Kreeda Games, ConnectM, iViZ, 3D Solid Compression, Perfint and Aujas Networks.
"So far, we have committed $32 million in these companies. We expect returns of 35-40 per cent every year. We intend to stay between four to six years in these companies. By 2010, we expect to commit $90 million,” said IDG Board Chairman Patrick J McGovern.
Aujas Networks has been co-founded by Srinivas Rao, Sameer Shelke and Manjula Sridhar. Rao has worked for Cisco and Netsol-IBM in the past while Shelke had stints with Fidelity, Cisco, HP and Microland. Manjula Sridhar has been an Entrepreneur in Residence with IDG Ventures.
According to Rao, Aujas will address a global security services market presently estimated to be over $17 billion in size and growing annually around 17 per cent.
"This growth rate is far ahead of most global IT services and is even more attractive in the context of this segment being expertise-dependent and premium commanding," he added.
The company plans to utilise the investment to build its sales presence in India, West Asia, Europe, Asia Pacific and North America to enhance its service offering development initiatives
"We expect to be 65 people by the end of one year. We will use a combination of organic and inorganic approaches to grow the business," he said.
Sudhir Sethi, IDG Ventures India MD & Chairman, said, Aujas is the firm's second investment in the information security space. "The company has hit the ground running with a channel partnership agreement already linked with iViZ, our first investment in information security software product sector from India,"; he said.
IDG Ventures is a global network of venture capital funds with over $2 billion under management and a portfolio of over 220 companies in the last 15 years.