Nilekani floats $100-million fund with venture partner

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Bengaluru, July 3 (IANS) Software major Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani on Monday floated a $100-million (Rs 649 crore) fund with venture capital veteran Sanjeev Aggarwal to bring financial and intellectual capital to scale up technology firms.

“The Fundamentum Partnership will have an initial corpus of $100 million, which will be extended to $200 million if good opportunities come along,” Nilekani said in a statement here.

As a scale up platform for entrepreneurs, Fundamentum will invest $10-25 million in consumer technology companies that have attained the product market fit, have an initial momentum and are looking to scale up.

“At Fundamentum, we are committed to building companies to last, with speed and at scale, as India is blessed with phenomenal entrepreneurial talent,” said Nilekani.

The fund will also raise additional capital from select institutional investors.

“As I have enjoyed looking at Indian entrepreneurs identifying unique Indian problems and then solving them with technology, our platform (fund) is an attempt to see how we can amplify their success,” said Nilekani.

In a departure from industry practice, both Nilekani and Aggarwal will not charge management fee or carried interest to the fund.

A portion of the fund will go into investments in enterprise technology and outsourcing firms serving global corporations.

“We will also back local champions in building durable technology firms, assist portfolio founders in building scalable technology architecture and navigating important inflexion points like capitalisation and inorganic growth,” added Nilekani.

Going forward, Nilekani will not invest in start-ups any more as Fundamentum will be the sole platform to engage with the start-up world. He will be engaged in selecting and mentoring companies.

Aggarwal co-founded the Mauritius-based India focused venture capital firm Helion in July 2006 after global IT behemoth IBM acquired his earlier co-founded Daksh in June 2004.

Since then, he has also been an early stage investor and board member in leading firms like BigBasket, MakeMyTrip, ShopClues and Livespace.

Both Nilekani and Aggarwal played key roles in building marquee technology firms. Their second innings as investors and mentors in the Indian startup ecosystem have seen them betting on companies that are uniquely Indian.

–IANS

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