Former Myntra, Alibaba, Paytm execs launch Multiply Ventures in India

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Former e-commerce executives Raveen Sastry, Sanjay Ramakrishnan and Bhushan Patil have joined hands to launch Multiply Ventures, an early- to growth-stage fund, to invest in the domestic consumption story, according to an announcement.

The trio, who have worked in firms such as Alibaba, Paytm and Flipkart and Myntra, is looking to invest and support young, budding entrepreneurs, who serve the large Indian consumption basket across sectors such as fintech, retail tech and edtech, among others.

While the corpus of the fund has not been disclosed by the founders, a TOI report pegged it at $50-million, of which it is said to have already secured $10 million in commitments.

Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma, along with Myntra co-founder Mukesh Bansal, David A Steinberg, Zeta Interactive CEO, and a few Alibaba executives count as the fund’s LPs, the report further stated.

“We have had the unique experience of being part of the startup ecosystem building some extremely valuable Indian digital consumer brands like Paytm, Myntra & Flipkart,” Multiply founders said in a joint statement.

While Ramakrishnan has worked in companies such as Flipkart and Myntra, Patil has completed stints at Alibaba and Paytm. Sastry, on the other hand, has had direct entrepreneurial experience as Myntra’s co-founder.

The Indian market offers a significant opportunity in terms of size, it’s also one of the most diverse/heterogeneous and complex markets to scale.

Today, problems that most Indian startups are facing in the domestic market are similar: how to get enough margins, how to be price competitive and how to keep customer acquisition costs low. While most of the firms are successful in raising money, lack of a continuous revenue model is leading them to wind up businesses.

According to the statement issued by Multiply founders, the Indian market is very different from some of the more homogeneous western and Asian markets. Operational talent across functions and leveraging local partnerships will play a vital role in helping startups scale.

Multiply ventures says it brings capital, people and ecosystem into a single platform to significantly increase the odds of a startup succeeding. Besides providing access to startup-friendly capital, the fund also paves the access to industry experts, and connects customers, distribution, technology to startups.