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Kerala ropes in 4 investment funds to boost startup ecosystem over 4 years

Devdiscourse News Desk | Kochi | Updated: 05-02-2019 20:24 IST | Created: 05-02-2019 18:36 IST
Kerala ropes in 4 investment funds to boost startup ecosystem over 4 years
The first leg of the 2017-launched 'Seeding Kerala' saw encouraging results, prompting the government to aim at raising investments worth Rs 60 crore.

Kerala is poised for a far stronger startup ecosystem, as four investment funds have planned to pump in over Rs 1,000 crore in new business ventures in the next four years, a top official said here Tuesday. Unicorn India Ventures, Exseed Electron Fund, Indian Angel Network and Speciale Incept Fund are the financial entities the government has selected through a tender, according to the secretary, Kerala Electronics and IT Department M Sivasankar.

Since the pact mandates investing 25 per cent of the volunteered amount in the next four years, the state is guaranteed with a minimum investment of Rs 300 crore by 2022 fiscal, he said on the sidelines of the event 'Seeding Kerala. The fourth edition of the event, organised here by Kerala Startup Mision (KSUM), in association with investment platform LetsVenture, brought together the high net worth individuals (HNIs) from the state in a bid to provide them opportunities to invest in startups.

Sivasankar, addressing a media conference, said the Kerala government has adopted the Fund of Funds model to invigorate angel and venture capital funds, thus facilitating holding of a portfolio than of other investment funds rather than investing directly in stocks, bonds and other securities. The state, on its part, provides an annual investment of Rs 15 crore.

The first leg of the 2017-launched 'Seeding Kerala' saw encouraging results, prompting the government to aim at raising investments worth Rs 60 crore. The state got 34 Expressions of Interest, from which four funds were invited to the KSUM endeavour on developing the startup ecosystem, he said.

Among the four, Exseed would invest solely in startups based in the fields of space and IT, Sivasankar said. The state would also encourage funds for startups working in the sectors of cancer treatment and disaster management, he added.

CEO of KSUM Saji Gopinath said the selection of the four funds would help the state tide over its problem of insufficient funds. Startups anyway required decentralised operations, he added.

The first two editions (both in 2017) of 'Seeding Kerala' strove to introduce angel investors from outside Kerala to the state. Into the third, the focus turned to HNIs within Kerala and linking them with startups that merited investment.

(With inputs from agencies.)

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