The Chairman of Reliance Industries Limited, Mukesh Ambani, is looking to assist and train start-ups that may boost its own business plans of phone services and e-commerce. For this, he is even ready to look at places like Israel and Silicon Valley in the US.
GenNext Ventures of Reliance Industries is in talks with overseas venture capital companies and private equity (PE) investors. The start-ups picked by Reliance Industries will be benefitted with the company’s widespread network. The foreign companies will have an access to the large market of India while Reliance Industries may get innovative ideas from varied countries.
First batch of GenNext Innovation Hub
GenNext Ventures along with Microsoft Ventures trained and mentored 11 upcoming companies in its program known as GenNext Innovation Hub. It did not invest in the start-ups of the first batch. In the joined initiative, GenNext has set up the infrastructure and called experts from Reliance Industries for the mentoring sessions and Microsoft has taken the charge of the functioning of the program.
Raghunath A. Mashelkar, GenNext’s Chairman, said, “We are following the seed-to-fruit approach.”
Some of the start-ups with innovative ideas that formed the first batch wereLogiNext Solutions that helps to keep a track in deliveries and transport activities and Coitor IT Tech that lets customers try clothes virtually through a computer screen. Some others are Health Vectors that gives a detailed analysis of the health of individuals;CarIQthat provides a connected car platform and AxleRate that takes care of passenger safety.
Second batch of GenNext Innovation Hub
Applications are already being invited for the second batch. The batch will begin from June. GenNext will also be investing in the companies, this time.
GenNext Ventures Managing Partner, VivekRai Gupta informed that the selection process for the second batch will be stricter than the previous one. The company is keen to pick up start-ups that are involved in the fields of information technology, broadband services, retail, energy management and security.
A Morgan Stanley report of 2nd February mentioned that private equity and venture capital funding in internet firms of India grew six times in 2014 than in 2013. $4.5 billion have been invested since January, last year. Out of the total, 70% was invested in the e-commerce field itself. The report also said that payments and logistic businesses will get additional funding, this year.
Till date, GenNext has invested in two organizations. One is Kolkata’s Videonetics Technology Pvt. and other is Mumbai’s Covacsis Technologies Pvt.It will further buy stakes of those start-ups whose business may align with Reliance Industries, informed Mashelkar.
In the past two years, investment in the e-commerce industry has been the largest. Some big names include Flipkart and Snapdeal. Gupta said, “There can be a 100 Snapdeals and Flipkarts in India as the digital ecosystem is blooming and GenNext wants to be right at the center of it.”