IndiGo has set aside an initial capital of INR 7 Cr for the LLP formed to house the venture arm
The airline said in an exchange filing that it would take three years to complete the process
The move comes months after IndiGo made global headlines, ordering 500 Airbus A320 aircraft for $50 Bn in the world’s largest aircraft deal ever
InterGlobe Aviation Ltd, which operates India’s largest airline IndiGo is planning to launch a venture capital (VC) arm to invest in early stage startups in aviation, along with consumer-focused allied sectors such as travel, lifestyle, hospitality and transportation.
IndiGo is working on setting up a limited liability partnership (LLP) to set up its venture arm, stating in an exchange filing that its board of directors has approved the formation of the same on Wednesday (August 2).
The airline said it would take three years to complete the process. As such, the airline’s VC arm is expected to start making early stage bets from 2026 onwards.
IndiGo has set aside an initial capital of INR 7 Cr for the LLP formed to house the VC arm.
“Given our large consumer base…these investments will help us add value to the airline,” said Gaurav Negi, the CFO of IndiGo, in a post-earnings conference call.
The move comes months after IndiGo made global headlines, ordering 500 Airbus A320 aircraft for $50 Bn in the world’s largest-ever aircraft deal.
Incidentally, this is the first instance where an airline is looking to bet on Indian startups. While there is no precedent for an airline to have invested in Indian startups, major Indian corporates, including Reliance and Tata, have been betting big on the Indian startup story.
Staying closer to familiar territory, many large FMCG brands have also been investing in FMCG startups, with an eventual acquisition always on the cards. The likes of Emami, Marico, Bikaji and ITC have picked up startups in the past.
The development comes as corporate venture funds (CVCs) are growing in prominence among Indian corporates. While many companies still invest in startups via traditional venture funds, a CVC does not have exit pressure, which can help a corporate generate higher returns from their startup investment by staying invested longer.
The same point was highlighted by Info Edge founder Sanjeev Bikhchandani while speaking at Inc42’s MoneyX in July. “I think a great benefit that we had when investing from our balance sheet was that we didn’t have the concept of fund life. Typically, a VC fund has a life, which means you have to exit and return the money,” said Bikhchandani.
India currently has over 800+ CVCs investing in startups, according to an Inc42 analysis. CVC participation in the startup ecosystem is also increasing at 7% per year.