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IFC to invest in Nandan Nilekani-led growth fund Fundamentum Partnership

T E Narasimhan/Chennai 30 Mar 18 | 08:50 AM

Nandan Nilekani

The Nandan Nilekani-led growth fund Fundamentum Partnership is planning to raise equity from International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Bank's investment arm. This is part of the fund's plan to create a corpus of $125 million.

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Early this month CDPQ, a Canada-based institutional investor, had invested $20 million in the fund.

IFC did not disclose the quantum of the money it plans to invest, but stated that the fund was seeking to raise $100-125 million in capital commitment, subject to necessary approvals from the trustee. IFC has proposed an equity investment in the fund.

The Fundamentum Partnership, founded in 2017, is governed by Vistra ITCL (India) Limited, which will exercise control and supervision over operations. The Fund is co-sponsored by Nandan Nilekani and Sanjeev Aggarwal, who will be engaged by the fund to serve as its investment advisor.  

Stayglad co-founder Prateek Jain, serial entrepreneur Ashish Kumar, Sanjay Purohit who worked on the Tata Business Excellence model as well as BigBasket’s HR Head TN Hari are part of the Fundamentum advisory team.

It's a closed-end fund structured as a contributory trust domiciled in India with a target size of $100-125 million. 

The Fund will invest in equity and equity-linked instruments in 7-10 technology and technology-enabled companies across sectors such as healthtech, eLogistics, B2C niche retail and services platforms, B2B commerce platforms, enterprise SaaS that may leverage machine learning, artificial intelligence and internet of things based technologies.

Besides investing in the fund, IFC said that an investment from a lifecycle investor such as itself will allow the fund to access co-investment and follow-on capital for its investee companies, as well as, support for subsequent funds. 

IFC's experience of investing in mid-stage companies, sector experience, providing board level guidance on strategy/operations and an extensive global portfolio of technology companies across several regions will allow for knowledge sharing with the Fund. 

IFC investment in Fundamentum can play a catalytic role in attracting institutional capital to the under-funded segment of mid-stage venture capital in the Indian ecosystem, which will enable young tech companies to scale-up.

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