Nirvana Venture Advisors, anchored by the Patni family, has raised a commitment of $15 million from Japan’s SBI Holdings, Inc. With this commitment, the fund has also made a first close at $30 million and is targeting a final close of $75 million. Nirvana is looking at investments in Internet, mobile and electronic payments companies. The fund partners include former eBay India country manager Rajan Mehra and the Patni family.

“Internet and mobile industries in India are expected to grow even more rapidly, with expansion of the mobile internet and pervasion of smartphones, Tablet services and Cloud computing. The fund will invest in promising deals and become active at the investee companies’ management to enhance corporate value by leveraging the investment team’s expertise and networks in India,” SBI Holdings said in a statement.

Last year, the Patni family sold their 45.6 per cent stake in India’s sixth largest IT firm Patni Computer Systems to iGate Corporation and Apax Partners. Amit Patni, son of the eldest Patni brother Gajendra, is the chairman and co-founder of Nirvana Venture Advisors Pvt Ltd. Mehra is co-founder and managing director of the fund.

Nirvana is looking to raise funds from domestic and overseas Limited Partners. It plans to make bets on India’s digital consumption space, investing $500K to $4 million in early-stage start-ups, besides making later-stage investments.

It has already made its debut investment in Web-based recommendation engine YourNextLeap.com, which acts as a virtual career counsellor and helps students make smart career decisions.

This will not be SBI Holdings’ first venture into the Indian private equity space. The firm had set up another joint venture fund with SBI Capital Markets Ltd in 2006 with a commitment of $100 million. The fund targeted $5 million-$10 million investments in technology and life sciences business and funded risk management and solutions company Aptivaa Consulting. However, the current status of the fund is not known.

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