Family Office

India Family Office Incubates Venture Capital Savvy

Tom Burroughes Group Editor 8 October 2018

India Family Office Incubates Venture Capital Savvy

The head of a new VC fund in India said he would not have been able to manage the fund as effectively as he has without learning from a family office.

Anrirudh Damani, the managing partner of India-based Artha Venture Fund 1, which held its first closing in July this year, said that his seven-year period working at the Damani family office prepared him for his entry into the VC space, a report said. 

“Some of the things I could achieve in terms of learning were only possible with the family office,” Damani, who is based in Mumbai, was quoted by the Economic Times (of India) as saying. His family dynasty, now in its fourth generation, made its original fortune trading in gold.

“I have sued a few funds and filed criminal notices on particular directors of companies. I don’t think I would have done that if I was a fund manager. But I could as a family office. So, I put structures in place the next time I invested to ensure similar situations did not arise,” he is quoted as saying. 

India’s VC sector is still a relatively minor one compared with more developed economies, highlighting the potential for upside growth. According to latest data available, there were just $88 million of VC investments in May this year, across 20 deals, falling from $170 million (46 deals) in April and down from $103 million (25) in January this year (source: The Indian Private Equity & Venture Capital Association). Throughout the entire private equity space, there were $4 billion of deals in May, across 52 transactions.

The Damani comments also suggest that family offices, a sector that should thrive in a country where such a high share of businesses are family-controlled, are important incubators of investment talent.
The Artha Venture Fund 1’s first close drew investments from listed companies, domestic family offices and high net worth individuals. The maiden fund of Artha Group was co-sponsored by Singularity Holdings and Artha India Ventures, the family offices of stock market veterans, Madhusudan Kela, Ashok Kumar Damani and Ramesh M Damani, respectively.

Separately, to see a story on how the listed equities market in India is viewed by Japan’s Nomura, see here.

Register for WealthBriefing today

Gain access to regular and exclusive research on the global wealth management sector along with the opportunity to attend industry events such as exclusive invites to Breakfast Briefings and Summits in the major wealth management centres and industry leading awards programmes