Global media group Bertelsmann has announced that it is investing “a multi-million-dollar amount” in Indian venture capital fund Digital Nirvana Fund Co. Ltd. The fund, which invests in start-ups in the digital domain, is managed by Nirvana Venture Advisors. It manages two funds with a total endowment of $40.5 million.
Nirvana fund is founded by Amit Patni, part of the family which founded Patni Computers, and Rajan Mehra, who was formerly with Clearstone Venture Advisors and eBay.
The fund has made five investments so far in payments (Transerve), e-commerce (Reviews42), healthcare IT (Remedinet), internet (Jombay) and gaming (Games2win).
Shobhna Mohn, Executive Vice President Emerging Markets at Bertelsmann, said: “Expanding our business in India is an important part of Bertelsmann’s growth strategy. We now have holdings, with three partners, in renowned funds in India that focus on the digital or education sectors, which are important to our strategy. We are also and simultaneously investing directly in selected companies that are of strategic relevance for us.”
Pankaj Makkar, Managing Director of Bertelsmann India Investments, added: “The digital markets in India are growing rapidly so we see great potential for us here. Our partnership with Digital Nirvana Fund helps strengthen our position in this space as it gives us early stage access to promising business models and best entrepreneurs in the country.”
Besides its investments in various funds, Bertelsmann now has direct holdings in three companies in India: the e-commerce platform Pepperfry, the real estate portal Indiaproperty, and Authorgen Technologies with its online education platform Wiziq.com.
In addition, Bertelsmann has also been present in India through its various businesses such as: Fremantle Media, the production unit of the RTL Group, which produces shows like “Indian Idol,” “The X Factor” and “Got Talent” in India; the book-publishing subsidiary Penguin Random House India, which is the country’s largest English-language trade book publisher, and; Gruner + Jahr, a leading corporate publisher. Bertelsmann also owns Arvato India, which is in customer & marketing services and in e-commerce since 2003.
Bertelsmann is an international media company with more than 111,000 employees, and revenues of €16.4 billion. Bertelsmann currently employs approximately 2,000 people in India.