CapAleph Advisors India Pvt Ltd, a private equity firm set up by former India Value Fund Partner George Thomas, may raise up to $15 million commitment from IFC for its maiden fund. The Bangalore-based private equity firm is targeting $150 million for the CapAleph Indian Millennium Fund, which will focus on small and mid-sized enterprises.

IFC, the private sector investment arm of the World Bank Group, is evaluating an investment of $15 million or 20 per cent of CapAleph’s total committed capital.

CapAleph will follow a ‘buy and build’ strategy, where it will seek control or significant minority stakes in emerging industry segments. Its website lists five areas of focus for the firm – technology based businesses, infrastructure support services, new healthcare services, education & skill development and emerging consumption trends.

Besides Thomas, the CapAleph team also includes Kartik Parija, who has co-founded the SME-focused PE firm , part of Zephyr Management, L.P, a global private equity and marketable securities firm. He helped the firm raise two India funds, where IFC also figured as an investor. Parija is an investment officer and currently managing investments in technology-based businesses at CapAleph.

Another team member is Akshay Panth, general manager – research and business development (infrastructure support services) – at CapAleph Advisors. Earlier, Panth had worked with SNC-Lavalin’s India infrastructure investments team and the GMR Group.

An e-mail query sent to Thomas for details on the developments did not elicit an immediate response.

Last year, Thomas told VCCircle that he was planning to raise a sector-agnostic fund with an average target ticket size of $10-20 million. “The fund will seek to take control in selective instances where majority ownership can translate into superior exits. Most of the control transactions will be originated on a proprietary basis. The composition of the team will reflect the orientation of the fund towards deeper operational engagement with investee companies and a bias for proprietary origination,” he had said.

Thomas had worked with India Value Fund for almost a decade. It is one of the largest independent PE firms in the country with $1.3 billion in assets under management.

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