Even though the markets have taken a downturn and investment banking as a business model is undergoing soul searching globally, an Indian boutique i-bank, MAPE Advisory Group, has secured under $10 million funding from Kuwait's Global Investment House(GIH). The private equity fund has acquired a 11.11% of stake in the Mumbai- and Bangalore-based firm, valuing the firm in the range of $80 million.

Sources have confirmed the deal to VCCircle.

MAPE is a boutique I-bank engaged in M&A, private equity besides other fund raising advisory services. In addition it has also diversified into institutional and commodity broking. The funding has been raised to finance the working capital for the institutional broking business. It is led by two former DSP Merrill Lynch I-bankers Jacob Mathew and Ramprasad M. One of its former founding members Ajay Garg had left the firm last year to form an i-bank Equirus.

Some of the prominent deals done by MAPE include Mahindra's recent acquisition of Kinetic Motors, CVC's stake acquisition in Sharekhan and Karvy Stock Broking's private equity transaction involving Baring and ICICI Ventures. During 2007, it was involved in 16 deals and was ranked sixth in the Bloomberg league tables.

Founded in 1998, GIH is one of the leading asset management (by assets under management) and investment banking companies in the gulf. Initially it focused on investment products in Kuwait and has overtime embarked on a strategy of geographical expansion by establishing branches and subsidiaries in other countries.

GIH has invested $5 million in Reach (Cargo Movers) Pvt. Ltd, a Thane, Maharashtra, based surface transport company. It also last year picked up a prime land in Navi Mumbai to build a five star international business hotel.

Many boutique investment banks have raised capital from Gulf based investors in the past. In July, Mumbai-based Avendus Capital Pvt Ltd (earlier known as Avendus Advisors) raised Rs 100 crore or $23.5 million from Eastgate Capital Group, an arm of National Commercial Bank of Saudi Arabia.

Edelweiss Capital has raised capital from another Gulf based investor Shuaa Capital.

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