IIFL Wealth makes LP-style bet on US-based venture capital firm

IIFL Wealth Management Ltd, a unit of financial services company IIFL Holdings Ltd, has made a Limited Partner-style investment in the second venture capital fund of US-based CerraCap Ventures.

The investment will give IIFL Wealth access to investment opportunities in technology businesses on a global front, managing director and CEO Karan Bhagat said in a statement.

IIFL Wealth made the investment through a unit, the statement said, without identifying the entity. It also did not disclose financial details.

CerraCap Ventures is focussed on early-stage technology investments in cybersecurity, artificial intelligence (AI) and digital health.

The venture capital firm’s known investment in India is in New Delhi Television Ltd subsidiary Special Occasions Ltd, which houses wedding solutions platform Bandbaajaa.com.

Its other portfolio companies are Silicon Valley-based deep-learning technology startup AgShift Inc. and Singapore-headquartered AI-powered data protection and management platform Dathena Science, according to its website.

This is at least the second instance of an Indian company making an LP bet this year in a US-based company. In March, software services exporter Infosys Ltd said it was making an LP-style investment in artificial intelligence-focussed venture capital firm The House Fund II LP.

IIFL Wealth

The company was launched in 2008. It was earlier largely known for offering wealth management services, besides managing real estate private equity funds and hedge funds. However, it has been slowly pushing up the alternative investment practice. Over the past year it has focussed on raising a large corpus for pre-IPO investments. It also has a seed fund.

In June last year, IIFL Wealth said it was raising Rs 745.71 crore (about $110 million) from a clutch of investors including Hong Kong-based Ward Ferry and existing private equity backer General Atlantic.

It has also been making acquisitions. In September last year, it agreed to buy Bengaluru-based fintech firm Altiore Capital for Rs 9.2 crore. The following month, the company said it would acquire Chennai-based wealth management company Wealth Advisors India Pvt. Ltd for Rs 253.6 crore.

In December 2017, it acquired Ashburton India Equity Opportunities for an undisclosed amount. In 2014, it had acquired small homegrown PE firm India Alternatives. It exited India Alternatives by 2017.

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