By 08 February, 2010

Indian STEP and Business Incubators Association (ISBA), a Pune-based association of incubators, has launched a Rs 55-crore venture capital fund. The fund will focus on sector-agnostic investments in companies with no proven track record.

Arihant Group, a company engaged in steel manufacturing in Pune, has contributed a major chunk to this fund while the other investor in the fund is Mumbai-based Adventa Infratructure Pvt Ltd.

The fund will invest in incubatee companies of ISBA members and will be managed by Science & Technology Park, Pune, where ISBA secretariat is located, said a company statement. ISBA plans to fund around 25 start-up companies from this fund in 2011-12.

The fund looks at an average investment of Rs 2.5 crore, and expects equity stake somewhere between 5% and 30% in investee companies, Rajendra Jagdale, secretary general of ISBA, told VCCircle. Arihant and Adventa have contributed Rs 30 crore and Rs 25 crore, respectively, said Jagdale. Chandu Chavan, chairman, Arihant Group, and Dhananjay Pandey, chairman and managing director, Adventa Infrastructure have joined the ISBA board.

ISBA was established in 2004 and currently has around 32 incubators as its members. Some of these incubators include the Science and Technology Park, University of Pune; Tiruchirappalli Regional Engineering College (TREC–STEP), Tiruchirappalli; Technopark-TBI, Trivandrum; International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Topics (ICRISAT), Hyderabad; and Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SINE), IIT Bombay.

Apart from financial support, ISBA will hold board representation and also offer domain and technical expertise to investee companies.

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