MeitY officials are expected to approach the finance ministry as early as next week with a detailed proposal for the Software Product Development Fund (SPDF), according to three sources aware of the developments.
A number of micro VC fund managers admit that the emergence of marquee VC-backed programmes over the last two years have made the startup landscape trickier to navigate, which has therefore seen them adopt niche investment strategies, and also to scout for opportunities outside the metros.
Bounce rates trebled in April despite a big chunk of loan books under moratorium
According to sources aware of the developments, GIC, the sovereign wealth fund of Singapore, Renuka Ramnath-led home-grown private equity firm Multiples Alternate Asset Management and marquee venture capital firm Sequoia Capital, are among those considering an investment in WhiteHat Jr.
Under the SOAR programme, selected startups are eligible to receive between $250,000-$1 million in funding, and will receive support across key functions, including, strategy, compliance, legal, secretarial and talent sourcing, among others.
An existing Rs 10,000 crore fund-of-funds, which is currently being administered by the Small Industries Development Board of India (Sidbi), should be rolled into it as well, it suggested.
Chinese investors — strategic and financial — pumped in an estimated $4 billion into the Indian startup ecosystem in 2019, making them the largest backers of the country’s digital economy. Their investments in funds are estimated to be much more.
The previous calendar year saw a record-breaking $14.5 billion inflow into India, spread over 909 deals.
Bira competes with the likes of global beverages giants Anheuser-Busch InBev, Carlsberg and United Breweries, among others. Additionally, the round has also seen participation from Korean private equity fund Neoplux and multiple family offices, whose names have not been disclosed.
Over the last two years, consolidation in the Indian startup ecosystem was on the upswing, driven by the increased liquidity in the space. Calendar years 2018 and 2019 saw 259 deals being struck at a cumulative transaction value of about $4.9 billion, according to data collated by industry tracker Tracxn.
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