Ganesh Ventures, a fund set up by Jessica Wong (former founding partner of Hong Kong based VC, Cyber Carrier), is all set to make an aggressive entry into the Indian venture capital landscape. The company plans to invest $250 million in Indian startups over the next 3-5 years. To begin with, a corpus of $30 million has been created to kick off the operations.
The stated objective of Ganesh Ventures is to invest in Indian startups and develop a healthy network of entrepreneurs in India as well as in China, with many Chinese coming on board as investors. And as stated above, the venture will also act as a platform for other investors to join and make investments in companies Ganesh Ventures has chosen to support. TMT, consumer products, fintech and healthtech are the sectors identified by Ganesh Ventures to invest in India, but the list may not be an exclusive one.
It has been reported that the first tranche of $30 million has been closed with investors originating from Europe, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Mainland China.
Another unique aspect of this new funding platform is its association with eWTP Ecosystem Fund. This acronym stands for Electronic World Trade Platform, the online version of the World Trade Center concepts meant to encourage healthy business relations between companies from different countries. The eWTP Ecosystem Fund belongs to Alibaba’s Jack Ma and Yongfu Yu heads the organization.
The new venture funding company will set up offices in India and one in the Chinese capital Beijing, besides Hong Kong. In India, Gurugram and Bengaluru are the locations selected.
Ganesh Ventures will be funding startups both in the early stages and for follow-on fund requirements. It is also learnt that an investment has already been made in India by Ganesh Ventures in IndiaLends. They may keep the typical ticket sizes from half a million to 1 million US Dollars. There may be exchange of knowledge and information between the Indian and Chinese entrepreneurs in order to acclimatise the Indian startups to the way business is handled in China.
Alibaba is not new to the Indian business environment having taken strong positions on some of the leading startups here, like One97 Communications, the owner of Paytm and online grocery leader BigBasket. Zomato, ExpressBees and Snapdeal are some of the other companies where Alibaba has sizeable exposure.