Rajan Anandan, who heads Google in India and South Asia, has been an active angel investor in the Indian scene. He’s now moving towards India’s southern island nation — Sri Lanka — in his pursuit of making notable investments in the country’s nascent startup ecosystem.
BOV Capital, a maiden ₹100-crore fund for tech-startups in Sri Lanka, has just received an investment from Rajan Anandan. Along with Rajan, many other angel investors and limited partners have backed this fund. However, the names of the limited partners remains undisclosed.
Along with Indian investors, a certain portion of the corpus is also being mobilised from Singapore. Sri Lankan entrepreneur and investors Prajeeth Balasubramaniam and Eric Wikramanayake are also part of the fund.
Commenting about this development, Rajan Anandan said:
We got a lot of interest with regard to the fund, and I think it’s just amazing that Indian LPs have come on board to help with the startup ecosystem of a neighbouring country.
Sri Lanka has a very high literacy rate, and an extraordinary education system…You have a very strong computer science and engineering talent emerging from the country, who are building some really exciting companies that are selling to the world.
The fund made its first close at ₹30 crore. It is now looking forward to make 7-10 investments, with average ticket size of ₹6-12 crore.
It is noteworthy that Rajan is also the founder of Blue Ocean Capital. It is an early-stage VC firm, which claims to be the first seed fund in Sri Lanka. It was established to help Sri Lankan startups capture regional and global opportunities. It started investing in 2012 and has made over 10 investments.
BOV Capital will now scout for startups that have already launched their product in global markets, have seen some early traction and already have clients on board.
The fund will be primarily focusing on Business-to-Business SaaS startups operating in the big data and analytics space, but it is open to consider consumer internet investments.
Commenting on the investment strategy, Rajan Anandan said:
Sri Lanka may not have as many companies in India, but it will have fewer but extremely high-quality ventures. Our goal is to identify and invest in these type of companies.
Rajan is currently a Vice President of Google. He is the Managing Director of Google India, responsible for Google’s operations in India. Prior to working for Google, he held leadership roles with Microsoft, Dell and was also a Partner with McKinsey&Co.
He has a deep understanding of technology, a track record of investing in many sectors across technology, first hand experience working closely with founding teams and leading and growing several large technology businesses in US and India.
So far, Rajan has invested in more than 45 companies, mostly based in India. He invests in early stage technology companies in internet, mobile and software space. This year, he has invested in 7 starts till now, including Fulfil.io, Unacademy, Rapido, etc.