Armed with his over $1-billion Flipkart fortune, Sachin Bansal is planning to diversify his portfolio and double down on the financial services sector, as he looks to make a big play in the venture debt space, said four people aware of his plans.
Over the past few weeks, Bansal has held discussions to invest in at least five technology startups, including some ventures where he has already committed funds as an angel investor, such as medical technology startup SigTuple, the people cited above said, requesting anonymity.
According to the first two people, Bansal may allocate several hundred crores for venture debt deals and may look to route his investments through his newly formed holding company, BAC Acquisitions Pvt. Ltd, which he launched with the help of investment banker Ankit Agarwal.
Coincidentally, Bansal’s co-founder at Flipkart, Binny Bansal, is also considering entering the venture debt space, according to two people directly aware of Binny’s plans. Over the past month, Binny has held talks with at least four technology startups for potential venture debt funding in the future. It is unclear how Binny plans to enter the venture debt space and there is a chance that his plans could change entirely, said the first person, adding that he could form a new investment entity that may focus entirely on venture debt deals.
Incidentally, Sachin and Binny Bansal had a fallout, and subsequently the former exited Flipkart during sale talks with Walmart in April 2018. Binny stepped down from Flipkart in November last year, following an internal investigation into an allegation of “serious personal misconduct” against him.
The investigation did not find any evidence to support the allegation, but it showed “lapses in judgement” on his part, Walmart had then said.
According to two entrepreneurs who recently met Sachin, the former Flipkart chief executive officer and chairman is looking to offer better and more favourable terms to upcoming startup founders than established venture debt firms.
Both Sachin and Binny have amassed massive personal fortunes following Flipkart’s sale to Walmart, and have committed to use their wealth to invest heavily in startups and help new-age entrepreneurs.
Mint had first reported on 29 October 2018 that Sachin was considering investing as much as $100 million each in several startups, including Bhavish Aggarwal’s Ola (ANI Technologies Ltd).
Over the past six months, he has held talks to invest an additional $50-100 million in electric vehicle maker Ather Energy Pvt. Ltd. Mint had reported on 3 August that he was also considering investing $700 million-$1 billion in startups.
Neither Sachin nor Binny responded to requests for comment over email and text messages.
This article was first published on livemint.com.