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Former Café Coffee Day CEO Naresh Malhotra, others to float family fund

05 December, 2017

Naresh Malhotra, a serial entrepreneur and former CEO of Café Coffee Day, is reportedly setting up a family fund with two other individuals to invest in early-stage startups.

The size of the fund will be Rs 50 crore ($7.76 million), The Economic Times reported without elaborating on the timeline of the launch.

The two other lead investors are Monika Rao and her husband Mukund Rao, the report said.

Monika Rao’s LinkedIn profile shows that she is a director at Modern Family Doctor Pvt. Ltd, a chain of neighbourhood clinics and pharmacies founded by Malhotra. It is backed by private investors Saama Capital and Bamboo Finance. Mukund Rao was CEO of Singapore-based financial services-focussed technology consulting firm derivIT, which was acquired by NYSE-listed Luxoft Holding, Inc early this year.

Malhotra was not immediately available for comments.

The fund will be sector-agnostic and look to invest in tech startups enabled by artificial intelligence. The typical deal size will be Rs 1-3 crore, the report said, citing Malhotra. It is open to investing in Singapore-incorporated Indian startups.

The family fund will join a fast-expanding pool of new- and old-generation entrepreneurs who have carved out a part or all of their personal wealth into an investment vehicle with a formal fund manager.

PremjiInvest, the private investment vehicle of Wipro Ltd chairman Azim Premji, has been India’s most prolific family office since its inception in 2006.

Other well-known family offices include Infosys co-founder NR Narayana Murthy’s Catamaran Ventures, his fellow co-founder NS Raghavan’s Nadathur Estates, former Tata Group chief Ratan Tata’s RNT Associates, the Patni family’s RAAY Global Investments, former UTV Group boss Ronnie Screwvala’s Unilazer Ventures, and The Three Sisters of Yes Bank chief Rana Kapoor’s daughters.

Last year, serial healthcare entrepreneur GSK Velu, who in 2015 sold his stake in pathology chain Metropolis Healthcare, also floated a family office with a corpus of $75 million (Rs 500 crore).

There are no definitive figures available on how many family offices are there in India or the assets they hold. The data are difficult to collate because most family offices keep their personal affairs private. The best guess, says Mumbai-based wealth management expert Aditya Gadge, is that India has 110-115 single-family offices.

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Former Café Coffee Day CEO Naresh Malhotra, others to float family fund

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