It seems PM Modi’s China visits has put its charm on the country’s investor community as well. Shanghai-based, Chinese investment company Fosun International, which has so far placed its bets only on the mid-to-late stage companies in India has now revealed its plans to back the early stage startups in the country.
An ET report quoted Tej Kapoor, India head of Fosun saying that it is building out its team to scout for opportunities and is in the process of closing three early-stage deals, where the cheque size is expected to be a sub-million range. Also, a Series B deal is in pipeline.
It was January 2017, when Fosun International joined hands with Iron Pillar Capital Management Ltd. to strengthen its foothold in India. Taking a cue from the funding winter of 2016 which seeped into the Indian startup ecosystem, Fosun initially invested only in established companies such as Delhivery, MakeMyTrip, Kissht and Ixigo among others.
“Initially, our focus was Series B and other public equity deals… Now, we are going to go into an even earlier stage… These are going to be super angel or seed rounds. These are based on our specific knowledge of sectors that we have great experience of in the Chinese market,” Kapoor added.
The investments into India’s early-stage startups will be made through Fosun’s venture arm – Fosun RZ Capital, which entered India about 18 months ago. Also, it will continue to make growth stage deals, but at a slower pace.
“70% of our focus will go into the early stage, and help these companies grow… We are close to completing half a dozen investments and will keep on looking for more of these opportunities,” Kapoor said.
As India’s startup ecosystem ranks higher in the global charts, international investors’ hawk eyes have been on the growing innovation in the country. In last few years, many China-based investors have actively invested in the Indian startup ecosystem.
While Tencent Holdings is already active in India, a few other names like Qiming Ventures, Morningside Ventures, CDH Investments, 01VC and Orchid Asia Group are gradually looking to deepen their investment in Indian startups across financial and education technology, ecommerce, content and online classifieds.
As per Inc42 DataLab’s Q12018 Indian tech startup funding report, the trend of seed funding crunch seems to be making a fair recovery in Q1 2018. Although the number of deals in seed stage is still 18% lower than that of Q1 2017, the numbers have increased by 43% as compared to Q4 2017.