Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Edelweiss PE eyes growing tech start-up space


Edelweiss Private Equity, the venture capital and private equity arm of diversified financial services firm Edelweiss Financial Services Ltd, is looking to close at least 8-12 deals in the Indian start-up ecosystem this year itself.
The venture arm, which was set up mid last year on back of the growth in the start-up space, will invest in both early- and growth-stage companies.
While the fund is sector agnostic, the inclination is more towards fintech, artificial intelligence, and other tech-enabled start-ups.
A major focus is also towards the rising consumer space and categories that can drive demand for the next 10-15 years.
Pranav Parikh, head of Edelweiss PE, told BusinessLine that the fund is looking at doubling the investments in growth stage this year. While, he did not disclose the size of the fund, Parikh said a typical early-stage deal would be $1-3 million, while growth-stage investments will be $10-15 million.
The Edelweiss private equity and venture capital fund has already invested in five companies, including fitness wearable start-up GOQii, data analytics company BRIDGEi2i and consumer firm Freshee.
Indian landscape

“We are quite optimistic about the investing landscape in India and are looking at companies that can solve actual problems in healthcare, finance, transport spaces, to name a few. We play across the spectrum and will invest in tech-enabled emerging businesses, such as data analytics, Internet of Things, smart devices, tech products, as well as consumer companies with strong online and offline brands. We look forward to working with entrepreneurs and strive towards making a few of them leading brands or category leaders in their respective fields,” Parikh said.
Parikh, who has over one-and-a-half decades of investment experience in the US and Indian markets, joined Edelweiss last year to drive PE and VC investments. Parikh used to work with multi-asset private investment firm Q Investments, and was leading its Indian arm till 2013. Edelweiss PE fund is an internal fund at present, but may raise more funds from institutional investors in the next 1-2 years.
The company plans to stay invested in all its portfolio companies for at least 5-10 years, Parikh said, adding that the current market is very volatile and that a lot of investors are expected to exit their portfolios.
“The last PE rush was around 2007-08. Investments made during that time are expected to mature by now.”
He said the start-up space will see the next round of funding boom around next March.
Investments


Edelweiss is among a few other financial service firms and diversified conglomerates to have set their eyes on the growing start-up space in India. IIFL has created a corpus of ₹1,000 crore; JSW has set aside about 100 crore to invest in tech-enabled start-ups over the next three years.
Meanwhile, several private-sector and public-sector banks have also turned investors with Kochi-based Federal Bank looking to invest around 90 crore in early-stage start-ups. State Bank of India also recently announced that it has created a corpus of 300 crore for the same.

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