Tata Group’s Chairman Emeritus Ratan Tata, has been a prominent figure in India’s (and even Global) startup ecosystem lately. His prominence has been largely led by his personal investment spree into numerous well-established Indian names like Snapdeal, Ola, Urban Ladder, PayTM etc, along with a one-off investment into China’s Xiaomi.
However, indicating towards a more serious and rather full-time involvement in developing the startup culture within the subcontinent and SE Asia as a whole, Jungle Ventures, the Singapore based $10 Million VC fund, has today announced that Ratan Tata has joined the fund as a special advisor.
His role, in his current position, will be to spend time with Jungle’s portfolio of companies to help them build category leadership. Moreover, Tata will also focus towards helping Jungle’s portfolio companies to build a strong user-base within the regional Asian market.
Talking about the development, Jungle Ventures said in a prepared statement,
In his role as Special Advisor, Mr. Tata has formally committed to spend time with Jungle’s portfolio of companies to help them build category leadership, while being ethically impregnable and culturally strong, in Asian and global markets.
Ratan Tata, post his retirement from Tata Group in 2012 and appointment as Chairman Emeritus, has been actively funding into established startups within the country, in a personal capacity. His investments include Snapdeal, PayTM, CarDekho, Kaaryah, Xiaomi, Urban Ladder and more recently Ola.
However, what’s intriguing about Tata’s investments (and iterated by me earlier too), is the fact that he has seeded cash into startups, which already are flush with capital due to multiple rounds of funding raised by them previously. Thus, in the scenario where we are talking about “progress of startup ecosystem”, Ratan Tata, in all of my personal opinion, doesn’t really fit in. Let’s see if we see a change of sorts in his investment strategy, considering now he’s part of a VC fund, which focuses on early-stage/angel rounds for startups.