Reliance, the most prominent name in the Indian business sphere, has been pushing into new areas of commerce for a long time now, starting with the tech industry and its own tech led platform-Reliance Jio. Today, the company has made its entry into another side of the business world-funding Venture funds. The Mukesh Ambani led oil to clothes conglomerate has invested $100million into Kalaari Capital, an early stage VC, marking its entry into the world of funding venture funds.
The company made this investment through Jio Platforms, and hopes to infuse another $100 million into the fund over the next year, according to a report by ET.
This is not Reliance’s first business transaction with Kalaari. In fact, Kalaari is a prominent name in the industry, and over the years, Reliance has acquired 4 of its portfolio companies, which include Embibe, Zivame, Haptik and the most recent-Urban Ladder.
Moroever, the report also claims that Reliance might be eyeing Bengaluru-based dairy and milk startup MilkBasket, which had raised $7 million in a Series A round led by Kalaari in May 2018.
Reliance is betting big on India’s ability to adapt to emerging tech, a capability that has been greatly enhanced by the cheap internet rates that it brought in the country with the introduction of Reliance Jio. This investment will help the company better understand the startup market of India, and gain insights from Kalaari’s expertise.
Kalaari is one of the earliest players in India’s startup markets, and is involved in some of the most wildly popular companies that have originated in the country over the last few years. Its portfolio includes startups like Dream11, Snapdeal, Cure.fit, Cashkaro, AgNext, Jumbotail, Hiver, Mall91, Simplilearn, Vogo, WazirX, Perpule, Mettl, among others.
Reliance Jio raised billions of dollars last year in a funding spree that saw participation from the likes of Google, Facebook, Qualcomm, and many others. Thus, right now, the tech based platform is sitting on huge amounts of capital-something that will help Mukesh Ambani better understand India’s temperament towards new technologies from startups, and then possibly provide solutions through Jio Platforms.