The India-Japan Fund of Funds in which Nippon India Digital Innovation AIF Fund is a part of has infused nearly $6.6 Mn (INR 50 Cr) in Hyderabad-based early-stage venture capital firm Endiya Partners’ Fund II.
Overall, Nippon is looking to invest in approximately 15-20 venture capital funds in India across various verticals — manufacturing, electric vehicles, automobiles, financial services, healthcare, education, eCommerce, retail, pharma and others. It will also focus on multiple horizontals including robotics, automation, internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence, machine learning, and consumer technology.
The partnership with Nippon’s Digital Innovation Fund will provide Endiya portfolio companies with financial and strategic support resulting in increased access to growth opportunities and sustainable scalability, the homegrown investment firm has claimed. The digital innovation fund is managed by Japan-based Nippon Life India AIF Management Limited (NIAIF), a 100% subsidiary of Nippon Life India Asset Management Limited (NAM India).
Nippon Looks To Boost India-Japan Investment Streak
Commenting on the development, Nippon India Alternative Investments’s fund manager Sachin Bid, said, “We are excited about this partnership and look forward to sharing our resources, particularly supporting Endiya’s portfolio companies in their market development and future financing efforts in Japan through the presence of our investor base.”
“We believe the partnership between India and Japan is of strategic national importance because it’s a perfect blend of Indian enterprise, its frugal innovation, and software skills with Japanese capital and their hardware prowess. We believe access to “friendly” Japanese capital is paramount to long term growth of Indian start-ups” he added.
Japan and India have a decades-long history of friendly trade relations which has also shaped how the two countries startup and investor ecosystems are working together. In May 2018, Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and India’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry set up a joint “Japan-India Startup Initiative”.
METI had also launched the “Japan-India Startup Hub” at the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) Bengaluru, a Japanese public sector company to connect Indian startups and Japanese companies. Besides this, it had also launched a fund of funds, Indo-Japan Emerging Technology & Innovation AIF, last year, to invest in Indian startups and manage a portfolio through 15 to 25 dedicated VC funds.
The Indo-Japan Fund of Funds aims to invest in 200 startups through its massive network of institutional investors, conglomerates, and Japanese VCs. The targeted Indo-Japan Fund of Funds size is $187 Mn, but the eventually raised amount could be higher. The METI, Nippon Life Asset Management, TV Mohandas Pai, angel investor and chairman, Aarin Capital Partners and R.K. Mishra (non-resident scholar at Carnegie India) have facilitated the participation of investors from both India and Japan.
Endiya Partners Looks To Invest In B2B Startups
Last week, Endiya Partner Fund II had also raised $10 Mn (nearly INR 75 Cr) from World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC), who has also committed an additional $10 Mn for direct co-investments alongside the Hyderabad-based fund.
Endiya Partners is a B2B-focused early-stage investment firm that has made investments across healthcare, enterprise technology solutions and consumer services sectors. The company’s portfolio includes deeptech startup Myelin Foundry, health and fitness startup Cure.fit, healthtech startup ekincare and cloud kitchen Innerchef, among others.
Till date, the company has announced two funds to invest in Indian startups. It closed its debut Fund I at INR 175 Cr 2017, whereas the first close of the Fund I was announced in 2016 at INR 100 Cr. Currently, Endiya Partners is working on its INR 500 Cr Fund II, which had announced its first close in May last year at INR 303 Cr ($40 Mn).
The early-stage VC firm usually invests between $500K to $1.5 Mn in Seed or Pre Series A funding rounds, but with the new fund it may invest up to $5 Mn per startup. Endiya team includes Sateesh Andra, Ramesh Byrapaneni, Abhishek Srivastava and Abhiram Katta along with Lakshmi Kancharla and Dipesh Chawla.