Wipro Enterprises’ FMCG brand Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting has announced the launch of Wipro Consumer Care Ventures. With this, the company wants to invest in innovative startups in the consumer brands space.
The venture fund will focus on companies with a differentiated approach where both parties can learn by leveraging their strengths and add value to each other. Sumit Keshan will be leading the investments business.
Since Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting operates mainly in personal care, skincare, home care, and lighting categories, the fund plans to invest in new-age startups in digital, ecommerce, and other ventures that adopt an innovative approach to reach consumers.
The fund will invest in companies in India and Southeast Asia with a sound business model. The company had invested in Happily Unmarried in 2017. Happily Unmarried is an ecommerce brand which sells men and women grooming products under the brands Ustraa and Happily Unmarried respectively.
“Our investment in Happily Unmarried was our first step to establishing this venture capital fund. Apart from financial capital, what we bring to the table is deep knowledge of operations and the ability to scale up, and a strong understanding of consumers in India and South East Asia markets. These would support startups in their endeavour to grow rapidly”, said Sumit Keshan, managing partner, Wipro Consumer Care Ventures.
Corporate And Startup Connect
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. Here are the latest additions to the club:
- July 2019: South Korean mobile giant Samsung started a new growth plan in India with its venture capital arm, Samsung Venture Investment Corporation (SVIC). SVIC is actively investing in future-oriented businesses based on new and innovative technologies that are expected to serve as new growth engines.
- February 2019: Bengaluru-headquartered food processing company Britannia announced its plans to set up a separate entity and team over the next six months to invest in startups across categories and platforms.
- January 2019: San Francisco-based Microsoft launched its corporate venture fund M12 in India. M12 announced that it will be extending its investing coverage to India to help entrepreneurs innovate and grow with Microsoft’s reach, expertise, and technologies.
- January 2019: Hyderabad-headquartered IT park developers Meenakshi Group announced the launch of its venture fund, Meenakshi Multiples Startup Fund to invest $10 Mn (INR 71.39 Cr) in promising startups
- 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.
The startup-corporate connection has been a difficult one to forge, but one that’s as important as any other in the ecosystem. It has been widely discussed that for large companies sometimes legacy comes in the way of adapting to change. However, as companies like Wipro plan to support the startup ecosystem, Indian startups get a more holistic approach and synergies to develop technologies for the future.