Dr Ajai Chowdhry, HCL Founder and Chairman-Start-up Committee, FICCI yesterday announced the launch of India-UAE VC Fund of USD 150 million from the India Pavilion at EXPO2020 Dubai.
The VC Fund is a first of its kind to be set up in the UAE with a purpose to source, invest, and nurture promising start-ups through an accelerator to fuel the growth of India-UAE start-ups. It will be funded by investors across UAE, India and wider GCC countries.
The Fund will also act as a catalyst for providing a process for developing early-stage start-ups in India and the UAE into viable global ventures and making them attain the unicorn level. It will target to invest in a minimum of 50 demonstrated and validated start-ups based in India and the UAE over a period of 5 years, turning 10 unicorns by 2025.
An MoU was signed to launch this Fund in presence of Dr Saurabh Srivastava Chairman, Indian Angel Network & Co-Founder, NASSCOM, Founder of TiE, Mr K. Kalimuthu, Consul (Eco & Com), Consulate General of India, Dubai, Ms Padmaja Ruparel, Co-Founder- Indian Angel Network & President of IAN Fund, Mr S. Venkatesh, Managing Partner, MCA Management Consultants, Mr R Lakshmanan, Senior Partner MCA Management Consultants & Mr Nirankar Saxena, Deputy Secretary-General, FICCI.
Addressing the event virtually, Dr Ajai Chowdhry said, “The Fund will bring investment opportunities to startups in India and the UAE. The Indian Angel Network Fund (IAN) will offer benefits to the investors from the UAE including the experience and knowledge that India offers. We are delighted to witness this collaboration and hope to see great results in the near future.”
Dr Saurabh Srivastava said during his virtual address that in recent years, new processes have been developed keeping in mind the changing needs of the economy, be it in technology, EVs, FinTech, Agriculture or Communication, which would get a boost through this VC Fund. “The Indian startup ecosystem is maturing fast, and India aims to be the No.1 startup ecosystem in the World,” added Dr Srivastava.
Mr K. Kalimuthu said, “The present startup ecosystem is giving ample opportunities for the youth to bring their potential entrepreneurship capabilities. However, the unavailability of capital is the main obstacle in realizing their full potential. This fund will help the young startups to grow and help them to contribute to economic growth and employment opportunities.”
Through a virtual address, Ms Padmaja Ruparel mentioned, “India has 60,000+ startups which is a testimony to the entrepreneur mindset of the young Indian generation and innovative solutions being developed. IAN is excited to participate in the VC Fund as a founding member and grow the entrepreneurial eco-system in the UAE by expanding its investor base and sharing its expertise in developing an Accelerator.”
Mr S. Venkatesh added, “Under the guidance and initiatives of the Government of India, the start-up ecosystem is exploding and targeting to be ranked first globally in successful start-ups. UAE aims to become home to 20 unicorns by 2031. MCA is excited to participate as a Founding Member to the VC Fund and keen to support the growth and development of start-ups in the UAE.”