Indian cricketer Yuvraj Singh has launched a $10 million seed-stage venture capital fund YouWeCan Ventures along with business associate Nishant Singhal to back internet startups in the country.
Singhal has been with Yuvraj since 2010 as his business advisor. He is a chartered accountant by profession and has over a decade of work experience with auditing firm PwC.
"Singh will be holding over 80 per cent stake in the venture and rest will be held by me and we have invested the money in the same ratio," Singhal told VCCircle.
Besides the co-founders there are four other people in the team in technology, financial and strategy who will provide support on business strategy, brand building, marketing, technology and financial management.
“We will be raising another $50 million from other investors and Singh is in talks with his friends and associates,” Singhal said.
YouWeCan has already identified few startups in travel and tourism, healthcare, sports fashion and real estate space and the first investment is expected to be made by June this year.
The average ticket size of investment would be Rs 10-25 lakh.
Many celebrities are involved in Indian startup investment scene and some had even picked small equity stakes in a few ventures in the past either in lieu of their involvement as a brand ambassador or through plain investment. This is the first known venture which is formally launching as a VC fund.
Indeed, Singh himself had invested in Exclusively.in, an international markets focused ethnic wear e-com venture (which was acquired by Myntra only to be sold back to its founders and more recently came under Snapdeal). Exclusively.in's casual wear online brand Sher Singh had counted another cricketer Zaheer Khan as a stakeholder and brand ambassador. Sher Singh was sold to Myntra.
Singh, the costliest player of the current season of Indian Premier League (IPL), is known as a hard hitting batsman. The former vice captain of the Indian cricket team was also the player of the tournament in 2011 when India won the World Cup. But he has been out of form more recently and was left out of the team which played in the World Cup which ended last month.
However, that did not stop him from being roped in by Delhi Daredevils in the domestic T20 cricket league for Rs 16 crore. This made him the costliest player in the IPL for the second successive season. In 2014, Royal Challengers Bangalore had signed him for Rs 14 crore. In the past he played for Kings XI Punjab and Pune Warriors.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)