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SEBI approves Kerala's Start-up Village Angel Fund of $10 million

KOCHI: In a major boost to the country's first telecom incubator 'Startup Village', market regulator SEBI has approved the Startup Village angel fund of $10 million that could go up to $20 million with a 'Green Shoe' (over-allotment) option. 

The approval for the angel fund, which would address the problem of resource crunch for startup companies across the country, came from SEBI through a notification issued on April 23, a press release here said. 

The focus area of the fund will be Telecom/Internet, and it would start investing once the initial close of $2 million is achieved. 

KPMG is Advisor and ILFS is Trustee of the fund. Welcoming the SEBI's approval, Kris Gopalakrishnan Infosys co-founder and Startup Village chief mentor said, "It will act like a shot in the arm for Startup Village, which would become the first incubator in India to have its own in-house fund. It will help the Internet-Telecom incubator to get the most conducive ecosystem for product startups." 

The need to create the fund was felt as the angel investment ecosystem in India is still maturing, and for the vision of Startup Village to have a 1000 product startups by 2020, it has to influence policy, infrastructure for incubators/accelerators, angel network and angel funds, he said. 

The angel fund will be investing not only in the most promising startups located in Startup Village but also in similar enterprises across the country. "We are looking to broad-base the investor profile with a large set of angel investors, many of whom might be first time angel investors in India," Startup Village Chairman Sanjay Vijayakumar said. 

Besides Gopalakrishnan, MobME, the country's first campus telecom startup, Ravi Pillai, founder of the Rs 16,000-crore Bahrain-based RP Group, and other leading angel investors in India will be part of the fund.