India: Smartphone maker Micromax to float $100m investment fund

Visual from Micromax website

Indian mobile phone manufacturer Micromax is setting up an independent investment fund with a targeted corpus of up to $100 million.

According to a report in The Economic Times quoting Micromax co-founder Rahul Sharma, the company is looking to invest in consumer Internet companies across the world that have relevance to the Indian market.

While Micromax will be the anchor investor in the independent fund named Orbis Capital, it will also raise funds from private equity firms, pension funds among other investors, both in India and overseas.

The new fund will look to invest in 10-12 startups with a ticket size of $3-5 million each.

Micromax started its strategic investment programme in 2014 and its portfolio includes ixigo, Gaana, MiMedia, Scandid, Zapr, TranServ and HealthifyMe, among others.

“Our investments into the 10 companies that were made from the first fund have been very successful, the IRR (rate of return) has been in triple digits, which is why we want to expand the horizon,” said Sharma told the news paper.

The Gurgaon-based firm has already identified some potential deals that are likely to fructify in the next 18 months. “The first investment could well be in the next six months, but it depends on the fund raising”.

The new fund will have an advisory board for which Micromax has started identifying key people.

“We are looking for entrepreneurs who have built successful businesses in emerging markets, so Nami Zarrighalam, CEO and co-founder of Truecaller and fintech specialist and founder Perry Blacher will be one of the advisors to the fund, besides Micromax,” said Kumar Shah, head of merger and acquisitions in the phone company.

Micromax is also close to exiting from two of its investments by March, said Sharma.

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.