Ajay Piramal, who has a string of private equity business units in the country, is now looking to dip his toes in the early-stage investment space. The family office of Piramal has come as an anchor investor in newly floated VC firm Montane Ventures, according to a report by The Times of India.
Footprint Ventures co-founder Josh Bornstein will head the new fund, along with Piramal's son-in-law Peter DeYoung who has joined as its director. DeYoung, who has previously worked at Blackstone among others firms, is currently serving as CEO of critical care business of Piramal Enterprises.
The fund, registered as an Alternative Investment Fund, is planning to raise up to $150 million with participation from external investors, going forward, the paper added, citing DeYoung.
It will make seed and Series A stage investments across technology, cross-border and consumer startups.
Separate emailed queries sent to Piramal Group and Footprint Ventures seeking further information on the aforesaid development did not elicit any response by the time of filing this article.
Footprint has invested in Paperboat maker Hector Beverages and Mast Kalandar, a quick service restaurant chain, among others.
Meanwhile, Piramal joins a growing list of Indian industrialists who are looking to diversify their investments business. Earlier, Godrej Group had backed agri and agri-tech focused venture firm Omnivore while Reliance Industries had floated GenNext and Reliance Group (formerly Reliance ADA Group) has a Reliance Venture Asset Management.
Several new generation entrepreneurs are looking to anchor such VC and general investment funds. Trivitron's GSK Velu is floating a similar VC firm that would also solicit third-party money among others. As first reported by VCCircle, serial entrepreneur turned parliamentarian Rajeev Chandrasekhar's strategic investment firm Jupiter Capital Pvt Ltd, is looking to float a new fund that would also pool in money from other investors. Then there are other private angel investors who rolled over their investments to form early-stage VC funds with third party money.
Piramal as a group already funds an active real estate focused PE arm Piramal Fund (earlier Indiareit) besides PE firm India Venture Advisors.