Peak XV's Piyush Gupta is leaving firm to start own secondary-focused VC fund

Piyush Gupta, one of the operating leaders at Peak XV Partners, is leaving the firm at the end of this month to start his own fund, four people familiar with the matter told TechCrunch.

Gupta joined Peak XV, formerly known as Sequoia Capital India & SEA, in 2017, leading the influential venture firm's strategic development team. Before joining Peak XV, he focused on similar things — mergers, acquisitions, and IPOs — at Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank for more than a decade.

Gupta didn't serve as an investing partner at Peak XV, but he played an important role in some of its programs, including PitStop, where investors from across the globe liaison with Peak XV's portfolio startups each year.

According to a source familiar with the matter, news of Gupta's departure was relayed by Peak XV Partners to its limited partners at its annual gathering last month, where the fund also unveiled plans to launch a perpetual fund that will be bankrolled by its investment partners and extended team.

The two are parting ways on cordial terms, two people familiar with the matter said. Gupta plans to launch a secondary-focused fund, and Peak XV intends to work closely with him to facilitate transactions at its portfolio firms.

Peak XV declined to comment and Gupta didn't respond to a text.

Secondary transactions are on the rise in India. Peak XV itself has seen some exits -- Pine Labs, Zomato, GoColors and K12 -- through secondary transactions in the past two years. According to updates he has shared on his LinkedIn profile, Gupta was involved in a series of deals, including PayPal's investment in Pine Labs, as well as the South Asian startup's $200 million fundraise. He was also involved in CPPIB's investment in Byju's, Qwikcilver's sale to Pine Labs, the sale of Peak XV's minority stake in HealthKart and Dailyhunt to Sofina, and underwriting block sale of shares in Indigo Paints.

Earlier this year, SentinelOne acquired PingSafe, an early-stage startup in India, for more than $100 million, TechCrunch reported earlier. PingSafe, which counted Peak XV's Surge among its backers, had raised less than $4 million before the acquisition deal.