China’s Ganesh Ventures gets investment from Jack Ma-backed fund for India foray
Jessica Wong

Chinese venture capital firm Ganesh Ventures has floated a fund to invest in Indian startups and has received the backing of another fund that counts Alibaba Group Holding Ltd chairman Jack Ma as an investor.

eWTP Ecosystem Fund, a privately owned fund led by Yongfu Yu and backed by Ma which was launched to boost cross-border e-commerce, and Hong Kong-based Landmark Capital are strategic investment partners of the new fund, Ganesh Ventures said in a statement.

Ganesh Ventures, which was founded by Jessica Wong, has marked the first close of its fund at $30 million. It has received contributions from investors in Europe, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Mainland China. Its target corpus is $250 million (Rs 1,700 crore).

The fund will seek to invest across sectors such as telecom, media and technology, consumer products, fintech and health-tech over the next three to five years.

Wong was former founding partner at Hong Kong-based Cyber Carrier, a fund which invested in six Indian companies across fintech, travel and discretionary healthcare sectors. Cyber Carrier recently made a profitable partial exit from KrazyBee, a student-lending platform, after Xiaomi and Shunwei Capital came in as new investors, the statement said.

“After years of exploring and analyzing India market, we can say with confidence that our investment and post-investment management strategy has worked very well,” said Yong.

Alibaba’s India bets

Alibaba Group has been one of the most active Chinese investors in India. The Chinese e-commerce titan and its affiliates together are majority stakeholders in digital wallet major Paytm’s parent company, One97 Communications Ltd.

Alibaba has placed strategic bets in India, going deeper into segments like e-commerce and digital payments that are relevant to its own businesses.

Its prominent investments include online grocery startup BigBasket, logistics firm Xpressbees and online restaurant discovery and food delivery company Zomato.

Chinese investors have been steadily increasing their influence over India’s internet companies spanning e-commerce, online travel, education and healthcare. These investors are often consumer internet companies themselves.

Tencent, another Chinese internet conglomerate and Alibaba rival, has adopted a venture capital-style strategy to make investments in Indian startups.

Recently, it sold a chunk of its shareholding in Flipkart after Walmart Inc said it would acquire the homegrown e-commerce behemoth.

Tencent is also an investor in segment leaders like ed-tech firm Byju’s and online travel player MakeMyTrip.

*This article has been updated based on clarifications from Ganesh Ventures.

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