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Ratan Tata is launching his own VC fund in partnership with University of California

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Eminent industrialist and an hyperactive angel investor in Indian startup ecosystem for last two years, Ratan Tata is planning to take his investment efforts a notch higher. According to a report in livemint , his investment firm RNT Associates has joined hands with the University of California to float a venture capital fund.

The report revealed that RNT Associates and the University of California had announced their partnership in February this year. Under the partnership, they plan to fund early stage startups in India over the next decade together.

At that time, Jagdeep Singh Bachher, chief investment officer, University of California had said,

We are looking for interesting opportunities across sectors, be it healthcare or alternate energy, and would be funding some of the best teams and giving them the runway and opportunity.

The fund will have a corpus of around $100-$150 million. They have already started looking for startups in the country. The report cited people familiar with the development who said on the condition of anonymity,

They registered a fund with the markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India in June as a category II alternative investment fund, under the name UC-RNT Fund. The vehicle, apart from contributions from RNT Associates and University of California, will also look to raise third-party capital.

The ticket size of this fund will be in the range of $10-$15 million. However, initially, the fund can also invest smaller amounts in the vicinity of $5 million to aid early startups.

The people mentioned above also revealed that the fund is also looking to hire more people for its team.  They apparently already have a core team in place comprising of Mathias Imbach and Tim Recker. Imbach has assisted Ratan Tata in his previous investments through RNT Associates whereas Recker is representing the University of California.

Ratan Tata- From an industrialist to investor

Ratan Tata has perhaps been the most active independent investor in Indian startups for the last couple of years.
He has invested in more than 30 startups in this period. These include popular names like Snapdeal, Ola, Urban Ladder, Zivame, Urban Clap, Holachef to name a few.

In 2016 alone, he has backed nearly 10 startups. These include online cash back and coupons website, startup research firm Tracxn, baby care e-commerce store FirstCry, therapeutic cancer treatment startup Invictus oncology, home rental startup NestAway Technologies, retail technology startup SnapBizz, online ticketing platform Kyazoonga, and AI-powered chat platform, Niki.AI.

Many of his angel investments have been undisclosed but according to Mint, the average ticket size range between 10 lakh and 1 crore. Earlier, RNT Associates also partnered with Singapore-based firm Jungle Ventures to start a seed-stage VC firm called SeedPlus.

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