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Zomato, Ola-backer Mirae Asset floats India-focussed early-stage fund

Zomato, Ola-backer Mirae Asset floats India-focussed early-stage fund
5 Jan, 2021

South Korean financial services firm Mirae Asset group, which has invested in Indian startups such as Ola, Zomato and Bigbasket, has launched an India-focussed early-stage fund.

Ashish Dave, CEO, Mirae Asset Venture Investments (India), tweeted that the Mirae Asset Venture Opportunities Fund I was launched to further its commitment to the Indian startup ecosystem.

Mirae Asset has deployed over $200 million in the country so far, added Dave, who was an investment professional at venture capital firm Kalaari Capital.

The fund, with a corpus of $35 million, is sponsored by the Mirae Asset group, Dave told The Economic Times. It has the option to raise up to $75 million.

The fund aims to invest in tech startups at the seed and Series A levels.

Apart from the investments in Ola, Zomato and Bigbasket in India, Mirae Asset has invested in logistics startup Shadowfax and co-living startup Zolostays.

Mirae Asset manages $1.5 billion across Mirae Asset Naver Asia Growth, Mirae Asset Naver I, Mirae Asset GS Retail, Mirae Asset Celltrion and other MAVI funds for venture investment. Its global investments include China's Didi Chuxing and Indinesia's HappyFresh.

A message dropped to Dave on Twitter did not elicit an immediate response.

Mirae Asset is not the only South Korea-based firm with investments in Indian startups. The other Korean investors in Indian startups include Korea Investment Partners (KIP), Naver, BonAngels, Daesung Private Equity and Shinhan Capital.

The launch of the fund is good news for Indian startups amidst the coronavirus pandemic even as the dry run to vaccinate people in the country has been rolled out.

Overall venture-stage investments plunged 30% to less than 400 in 2020 from 573 in 2019, when it had risen from 513 in 2018, according to VCCEdge, the data and research arm of VCCircle.

Angel and seed deals rose to almost 700 last year from 658 in 2019 despite the pandemic.