Well known names in the technology industry including Girish Paranjape (who was earlier the joint-CEO of Wipro Technologies), Deepak Ghaisas (earlier CEO of i-flex Solutions), Mohandas Pai (earlier with Infosys and now with Manipal Global Education) besides V Balakrishnan (a senior Board member of Infosys) are pooling in resources to kick start the fund prior to tapping various other technology veterans.
Ghorpade offered not to comment for this article, while the other four key investors could not be reached for their perspectives.
According to them, the four key technology veterans named earlier have indicated a commitment of Rs 5 crore each for this fund.
“The whole idea of this fund was initiated to fund various ideas coming out of Infosys, but the same has been broad-based,” the senior investment banker who is aware of Exfinity Fund told Business Standard. The aspect of early stage investments in the technology sector has been on a rapid rise in the Indian context over the past nearly two years with a whole host of funds, angel investors and angel networks actively getting involved with entrepreneurs right from the ideation stage.
According to report from GSF Accelerator, which is investing in early stage technology start-ups, new angel investors are providing fresh capital to early stage start-ups, while seasoned are becoming weary and a few accelerators and incubators are getting aggresive.
“While VCs are just about recovering from the impact of e-commerce exuberance of 2011, seasoned angels find that they need to dig deeper to keep their companies going and are facing a situation where their resolves are being tested. While angel clubs continue to invest in a sustained manner, a few nascent seed funds are making aggressive bets,”GSF noted.
This move by V Balakrishnan and Mohandas Pai to invest in Exfinity Fund comes close after both of them have made key investments in Unitus Seed Fund, which backs entrepreneurs who target Bottom of the Pyramid segment.
Balakrishnan during last month offloaded a part of his personal holding in Infosys for Rs 33 crore.
In addition to being an investor in Exfinity Fund, Mohandas Pai along with Ranjan Pai of Manipal Group is in the process of raising an sector agnostic private equity fund, a part of which has been raised and being invested from.