Non-tech CXOs gamble on IT startups

download (8)A host of CXOs from businesses outside the software industry are beginning to put their money in India’s emerging software product industry — a broadening appeal that could help accelerate the development of the segment that some believe will soon create a Facebook or Google out of India.

The Exfinity Fund, an early stage technology fund, has seen investment from UB Group CFO Ravi Nedungadi, Hero MotoCorp CFO Ravi Sud, Mantri Developers CMD Sushil Mantri, Jain Group of Institutions founder-chairman Chenraj Roychand, Havells India joint MD Anil Gupta, and Salarpuria Group MD Bijay Agarwal.

The fund — promoted by former Infosys CFOs and board members TV Mohan Das Pai and V Balakrishnan, and former CEO of I-flex solutions Deepak Ghaisas — has around 60 investors, including some family offices.
It is a Rs 125-crore fund, of which around Rs 40 crore has been raised from CXOs outside the tech business, said sources who did not want to be named.

Padmaja Ruparel, president of Infosys CFOs , pointed out several other non-tech CXOs who have invested in technology startups — Sunil Munjal, joint MD of Hero MotoCorp; Arvind Singhal, CMD of retail consultancy Technopak; and Harish Sheth, CMD of auto component manufacturer Setco Automotive.
Mumbai Angels has members from a variety of industries including those like Ranjan Kapur, country head of advertising group WPP; Prashant Choksey, CEO of Choksey Constructions; and Anand Ladsariya, who runs flavours and fragrances company Everest Flavors. “I’m not surprised by the trend. Leaders from outside the traditional technology arena are fully aware of the tectonic disruptions underway across the tech startup landscape,” said Ravi Gururaj, chairman of Nasscom Product Council.
Ruparel said it was partly a risk-mitigation strategy for the CXOs.

source: Tol News

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