RATAN TATA TO SET UP VENTURE CAPITAL FUND
The fund will have a corpus of around $100-150 million, and Tata already started scouting for start-ups to invest in
Tata Sons Ltd’s chairman emeritus Ratan Tata is gearing up to get more serious and institutional about the early-stage investing business, after a prolific run as an angel investor.
Tata, 78, in partnership with the University of California, is setting up a venture capital fund with a corpus of around $100-150 million and has already started scouting for start-ups to invest in, said three people aware of the development.
In February, RNT Associates, the privately held investment firm of Ratan Tata, and the chief investment officer’s office of the University of California, announced a partnership to jointly fund start-ups and early-stage enterprises in India over the next 10 years.
“They registered a fund with the markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India in June as a category II alternative investment fund, under the name UC-RNT Fund. The vehicle, apart from contributions from RNT Associates and University of California, will also look to raise third-party capital. They are looking at a corpus of $100-150 million for the fund,” said one of the three people cited above, requesting anonymity as he is not authorized to speak to the media.
This is not the first fund that Tata is seeking to set up in a partnership.
In June, Singapore-based venture capital firm Jungle Ventures joined hands with RNT Associates, Accel Partners (India) and Infocomm Investments Pte. Ltd to start SeedPlus, a seed-stage venture capital firm based in the city-state.
Tata, who retired as chairman of Tata Sons in December 2012, has spent almost two years investing his personal wealth directly in technology start-ups both in India and overseas through RNT Associates.
Tata has invested in around 30 start-ups in the last two years, including online market place Snapdeal (Jasper Infotech Pvt. Ltd), online furniture store Urban Ladder (Home Décor Solutions Pvt. Ltd), cab-hailing service Ola (ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd), online lingerie store Zivame (Actoserba Active Wholesale Pvt. Ltd) and many others across sectors such as healthcare, financial inclusion and e-commerce.
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