Billionaire industrialist Mukesh Ambani is planning to provide Rs 1000 crore seed capital to kick-start a new venture that would invest in innovative business ideas, including in technology and healthcare segments.
Ambani, who heads the country’s most valued corporate entity Reliance Industries, will probably make this investment of about USD 250 million in his individual capacity, sources close to the development said.
A RIL spokesperson did not offer any comment.
The process has begun for stringing together a team of experts with domain knowledge of various sectors for managing this private equity venture, sources said.
It said some of his close aides at RIL group might also be brought on board.
The top tier of people to be associated with this venture would include those with expertise in biotechnology, healthcare, energy and consultancy businesses, besides private equity and venture capital segments.
The new venture would mostly invest in start-ups working on innovative business ideas in sectors like biotechnology, healthcare, information technology, new and renewable energy as also traditional energy sources, among others.
However, it was unlikely that RIL group itself would get involved in the venture and it was most likely that the investment would be made by Ambani in his individual capacity, sources said.
The sources said the venture would also look at roping in other investors, mostly from overseas.
He would join the likes of N R Narayan Murthy and Azim Premji — founder and Chairman of two of the country’s biggest IT majors Infosys and Wipro, respectively, who have floated private equity investment ventures at their individual levels.
Besides, a number of large industrial houses, such as Tatas, Aditya Birla group and Anil Ambani group have their own private equity investment arms that invest in various companies as per their respective mandates.
RIL and Ambani himself have often talked about need to invest in areas like business innovation, new technology and research and development.
Earlier in 2007, RIL group firm Reliance Life Sciences had announced a partnership with MPM Capital, a US-based global investment management firm focussed on healthcare business, to invest in Indian life science sector.
Subsequent to the deal, RIL invested nearly Rs 80 crore in a MPM BioVentures fund during the last fiscal 2009-10.
The group has also created a Reliance Technology Group (RTG) by consolidating various research and technology functions of its businesses.
It has also set up a Reliance Innovation Council that comprises of eminent scientist R A Mashelkar and Ambani himself, among other global leaders, from fields of science and business.