Bengaluru-headquartered Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting, a subsidiary of Wipro Enterprises, has launched a venture capital fund to invest in startups in the consumer brands space.
The newly launched fund, Wipro Consumer Care - Ventures, will invest in startups that leverage digital, ecommerce and other channels to sell products in the consumer goods space, an official statement said.
The venture fund will primarily invest in startups based in India and Southeast Asia.
Sumit Keshan, who was general manager of mergers and acquisitions at Wipro from 1993 to 2008, has been appointed managing partner of Wipro Consumer Care - Ventures.
He had also served as director of the South Asia region for CDC Group, the UK government-backed development finance institution.
Wipro Consumer Care manufactures and retails skincare, home care and lighting products. Accordingly, the venture fund will primarily focus on product categories that would be of interest to Wipro Consumer Care, the statement added.
In November 2017, Wipro Consumer Care had led a funding round in lifestyle products retailer Happily Unmarried along with Info Edge India, the parent company of job portal Naukri. The Delhi-based startup had raised $3.09 million in the funding round, according to VCCEdge, a research platform owned by Mosaic Media Ventures, the company that owns and publishes TechCircle.
“Our investment in Happily Unmarried was our first step to establishing this venture capital fund. Apart from financial capital, what we bring to the table is deep knowledge of operations and the ability to scale up, and a strong understanding of consumers in India and South East Asia markets. These would support startups in their endeavour to grow rapidly,” Keshan said.
Happily Unmarried retails lifestyle and skincare products under its eponymous brand and its women-centric brand Ustraa.