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IIFL Asset Management chief Prashasta Seth joins Uniphore board

06 September, 2017

Prashasta Seth, chief executive of IIFL Asset Management Company, has joined the board of directors at speech-recognition startup Uniphore Software Systems Pvt. Ltd, filings with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs show.

VCCircle exclusively reported last month that Chennai-based Uniphore had raised $6.8 million (Rs 43.5 crore) in a Series B round led by IIFL Asset Management’s parent IIFL Holdings Ltd (formerly India Infoline).

IIFL Holdings had put in Rs 16.37 crore through investment vehicles IIFL Seed Ventures-I (Rs 13.1 crore) and IIFL Select Equity Fund (Rs 3.27 crore). The terms of the investment entitled IIFL Holdings to nominate one director with shareholder voting rights on the company’s board.

The filings show that Seth’s appointment as director was effected through a board resolution passed on August 4. He had formally given his consent for directorship in July.

IIFL Seed Ventures had also participated in a bridge round at the company in October last year.

E-mail queries sent to Uniphore and IIFL seeking more information didn’t elicit an immediate response.

An IIT Kanpur and IIM Ahmedabad alumnus, Seth joined IIFL in 2008. In 2014, he was appointed as CEO of the group’s asset management arm. He has also worked at Irevna, Standard & Poor’s equity research subsidiary, in the past.

IIFL Asset Management primarily invests in companies before or during their initial public offerings through vehicles christened as IIFL Special Opportunities Fund.

VCCircle had reported late last month that it had signed a pact to pick up a stake in National Stock Exchange through a new fund.

Recently, it also bought a 2.59% stake in Reliance Nippon Life Asset Management Ltd for $60 million through a secondary market purchase.

Founded in 1995, IIFL Holdings offers financing, asset and wealth management, equity, commodity and currency broking, financial product distribution and investment banking, among other services. Over the years, it has created special vehicles demarcating investments based on the type and stage of companies.

IIFL Seed Ventures’ most recent investment was in fashion portal Fynd.

Uniphore, founded in 2008 by Jaypee University of Information Technology alumni Sachdev (CEO) and Saraogi (COO), has raised a little over $13 million so far. Sachdev had also co-founded Singularis Technologies earlier.

The company’s product portfolio comprises speech analytics platform auMina, virtual assistant akeira and portable voice biometrics platform amVoice. Uniphore claims to be working with over 70 enterprise customers, and says it has served over 4 million end-users.

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IIFL Asset Management chief Prashasta Seth joins Uniphore board

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