Vivek Mehra quits Aloe PE to float food-tech startup

Aloe Private Equity firm's managing director for India, Vivek Mehra has quit the firm to focus on technology investments and pursue entrepreneurial activity in the tech space, he said in an email.

Mehra has entered the food technology business with Culinary Cart Private Ltd that he co-founded with friends and colleagues. The firm will be developing brands and products in food domain and will create an e-commerce platform for selling its basket of products. The business shall be launching soon with ready-to-cook (food kits) branded as “Burgundy Box” and a product in ready-to-eat space.

Another recently launched venture in read-to-cook space is InnerChef. Angel investor and founder of GSF Accelerator Rajesh Sawhney had teamed up with four other co-founders to launch the ready-to-cook meal delivery startup InnerChef early this year. Another funded venture in the space is Bangalore-based iD Fresh Food (India) Pvt Ltd, which raised Rs 35 crore ($5.69 million) from Helion Venture Partners last October.

Meanwhile, Mehra has also taken on the role of a mentor at Blobcity iSolutions, a data analytics company which has developed a proprietary distributed data storage and management tool, InfinitumDB. The company is developing ideas and products targeted at the emerging area of big data. He did not share if he has invested in the firm.

He has been a seed and angel investor focusing on information technology infrastructure, data centre technologies, systems management, security, storage, cloud computing systems and software.

Mehra had joined Aloe Private Equity in 2011 from Yes Bank where he was the managing director, private equity and investment banking unit. At Yes Bank, Mehra had helped launch a $200 million South Asia clean energy fund in collaboration with the US-based Global Environment Fund.

Aloe Private Equity had launched its fourth fund last year with $200 million target corpus and a focus on clean technology. Its portfolio companies include Envirotherm, a provider of solutions for clean air and clean water applications to industrial clients; AgroGeneration, a producer of agricultural commodities; Greenko, owner and operator of green energy assets in India; Polygenta, a firm which has a proprietary, commercially proven and patented manufacturing process to produce polyester filament yarn from curb-side post-consumer waste PET bottles, among others.

Mehra's exit adds to the list of people movement within and outside PE industry. Though most fund managers have quit to launch their own independent funds some have become an entrepreneur.

Recently, PE firm Avigo Capital's managing director S Harikrishnan quit to launch his own independent fund with a focus on PIPE deals. Last year, head of Avendus Private Equity, Manoj Thakur quit the firm to launch a $250 million long-short fund in collaboration with China-based PE fund manager Orchid Asia.

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