Big shakeup for Sequoia Capital India

February 14, 2011, 11:32 PM UTC

Venture capital firm Sequoia Capital has broken up with the founding members of its India investment team, following a dispute over investment strategy. VC Circle first reported the news, which Fortune has since confirmed with one of Sequoia’s limited partners.

“We received information about the situation just this morning,” the LP said. An official statement is expected within the next 24 hours.

Sequoia moved into India back in early 2006, by “acquiring” a local venture capital group called Westbridge Capital Partners. Westbridge’s four founding partners continued to manage legacy investments out of its first fund ($140 million, raised in 2000) and continued making investments out of a $200 million vehicle raised several years later. Moving forward, the Westbridge team — renamed Sequoia Capital India — invested out of more than $1 billion of Sequoia-branded funds, alongside new staffers in Bangalore, Mumbai and New Delhi offices.

Portfolio companies include Cafe Coffee Day, Dr. DelPath Labs and Druva Software.

Most of those deals were early-stage or growth-stage investments, but it seems that the Westbridge founders now believe that better returns can be found among listed mid-cap Indian companies. Sequoia wanted to stay focused on private companies, thus causing the two sides to go their separate ways.

The Westbridge quartet is expected to begin investing immediately by using both personal monies and dry powder remaining in the second Westbridge fund. A new fundraise could come later this year.

Sequoia did not return requests for comment, but the VC Circle report says that it expects to retain at least five senior investment pros in India.