Chinese VC Ganesh Ventures floats $250m India fund with backing from Jack Ma

Jack Ma. Photographer: Jason Alden/Bloomberg

Chinese venture capital firm Ganesh Ventures has launched an India-focused fund with backing from e-commerce giant Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma, it announced on Tuesday.

The VC firm, set up by Jessica Wong, former founding partner at Hong Kong-based Cyber Carrier, has reached the first close of its India fund at $30 million backed by eWTP Ecosystem Fund, a fund conceptualized by Ma to drive cross-border commerce, and Hong Kong-based Landmark Capital, it said in a statement.

Ganesh Ventures is, however, looking to invest $250 million in startups across sectors like TMT, consumer products, fintech and health-tech over the next 3-5 years.

Further, the firm will set up offices in Gurgaon, Bengaluru, Hong Kong and Beijing. The team has already started evaluating new projects rather aggressively and intends to close half a dozen deals within this calendar year, it added.

“Ganesh Ventures has signed Landmark Capital and Jack Ma’s ambitious eWTP Ecosystem Fund (Electronic World Trade Platform, a brainchild of Jack Ma’s dream initiative to boost cross border e-commerce) led by Yongfu Yu. Ganesh Ventures will be eWTP’s strategic investment partner in India – a key market in its comprehensive international plan,” it said in a statement.

eWTP was launched in May as a $600 million cross-border fund to drive strategic investments to help companies accelerate their international expansions and to support technology innovations.

Ganesh Ventures, which has also received commitments from institutional investors in Europe and Southeast Asia, aims to be a bridge for Indian entrepreneurs who want to access the Chinese startup ecosystem and stakeholders, so that they can utilize cross-border resources, exchange learning and achieve market synergies, the statement added.

The fund will not only invest its own capital in Indian startups, but open the gateway to other investors for larger follow-on capital raises. The total investment corpus of Ganesh Ventures’ partners is estimated to be in excess of a billion dollars. It has already participated in the further rounds of HappyEasyGo, GigIndia, Indialends and BeYouPlus.

“We’ve been testing the waters in India for some time and have gained valuable understanding of the market. Our portfolio companies have received continued support from a growing number of strategic partners such as Xiaomi and Alibaba group. The success we have achieved so far with our partners and portfolio strengthens our confidence to engage with more stakeholders and enhance our portfolio,” said Wong.

Cyber Carrier’s investments in India have yielded absolute returns of more than 300 per cent, said Wong. It made a profitable partial exit from KrazyBee in October when Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi and venture capital fund Shunwei Capital invested in the student-lending platform.

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.