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UST Global\'s former chief exec Sajan Pillai to float venture capital fund
Photo Credit: VCCircle

Sajan Pillai, former CEO of IT company UST Global, said he plans to launch a venture capital fund to invest in startups focusing on Kerala.

The fund will have a target corpus of $75 million (Rs 516 crore), IANS news agency reported, citing Pillai.

The fund will look to invest in healthcare, finance, telecom and retail sectors.

Queries to Pillai on LinkedIn to explain the nature and strategy of the fund did not get a response immediately.

Pillai quit UST Global after over 20 years. UST Global has business operations through its centres in the US, the UK, Spain, India, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Mexico, Australia, Poland and Israel.

A slew of corporate professionals and family business houses have floated investment vehicles in the past years to back startups.

Prominent names include Ratan Tata, who had begun actively investing in startups after he quit as chairman of Tata Sons in 2012. Tata’s RNT Associates has invested in several high-profile startups such as digital payments firm Paytm, eyewear e-tailer Lenskart, furniture e-tailer Urban Ladder, cab aggregator Ola and Chinese mobile handset manufacturer Xiaomi.

Other examples of such investment vehicles include Wipro founder Azim Premji’s PremjiInvest and Infosys co-founders NR Narayana Murthy's Catamaran Ventures.

Last year, former Tata Sons chairman Cyrus Mistry floated investment firm Mistry Ventures LLP to incubate new ventures and provide seed- and early-stage growth capital to startups in India and other countries.

Mistry’s announcement on funding startups came two years after he was ousted as chairman of Tata Sons in October 2016 at the behest of former chairman Ratan Tata.

Last year, The Investment Trust of India (ITI), a financial services group backed by Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd director Sudhir Valia, also launched its Rs 150 crore ($20 million) early-stage venture capital fund.

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