Hyderabad-headquartered IT park developers Meenakshi Group has announced the launch of its venture fund, Meenakshi Multiples Startup Fund to invest $10 Mn (INR 71.39 Cr) in promising startups.
Mahesh Katragadda, director of Meenakshi Group said, “Over the next three years, our target is to invest around $10 Mn through our new startup fund. We’re going to look at startups solving very specific problems, with a potential to scale in the future.”
The group’s rationale to set up the fund is to encourage new-age businesses, processes, and technology ventures, and providing new strategic capabilities to up and coming startups.
The firm has made its first investment in Hyderabad based co-working startup iKeva for an undisclosed amount picking up 6% equity stake as part of the deal.
Founded in 2012, iKeva is a coworking space provider with the community and member benefits. It offers high-quality office infrastructure, with solutions designed to make work-life productive, efficient and fun-filled.
“We chose to invest in iKeva because of their ethos on building a sustainable business model, with the single focus on customers and service delivery, which they have demonstrated consistently and have systems in place to ensure continuity,” Katragadda said.
Katragadda explained that the company will seek out startups like iKeva creating the real value, and solve real specific wants or problems for customers.
Going forward, the dedicated investment team of the group, comprising finance and legal professionals along with analysts, will lead more investments. The group has already made investments in a few startups.
“The investment team will take up due diligence of startups including scaled-up businesses. Proptech and Coworking hold a lot of promise, and is worth exploring among the scaled-up new-age businesses,” Katragadda said.
Corporates: The New Age Enablers Of New Age Startups
The startup-corporate connection has been a difficult one to forge, but one that’s as important as any other in the ecosystem.
During Inc42’s The Ecosystem Summit, in a panel discussion entitled ‘The Corporate-Startup Connect’, Murali Talasila, PwC partner and innovation leader summarised four wheels of the ecosystem— corporates, startups, policymakers and the consumers:
- corporates should not reinvent what already exists,
- startups should accelerate their product development using corporates as a launchpad
- government and policymakers should lend a hand by fixing issues that Indian startups face
- consumers are a fantastic source of revenue for all of these
In this light, several leading corporates across the world like Google, Walmart, Alibaba, Microsoft, Reliance, Hero Group, Times Internet etc continue to regularly invest and support the startups.
In October 2018, Mumbai-based leading FMCG company Procter & Gamble India (P&G India) announced the launch of a multimillion-dollar fund which aims to invest in Indian startups and will also focus on collaborative growth strategy. In May 2018, the RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group had launched a venture capital fund of $14.74 Mn (INR 1 Bn) to invest in fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) startups.
With corporates finding synergies to grow with the startup ecosystem, the Meenakshi group has joined the club of leading enablers of ecosystem.