Kalaari Capital

Reliance invests $ 100 million in Kalaari Capital

Business Finance

Reliance is making its first investment in a venture capital fund through a $ 100 million investment in Kalaari Capital. It is likely to double in the next year. Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Industries (RIL) has invested $ 100 million in initial-level VC Kalaari Capital. RIL’s $ 65 billion digital arms have been invested through Jio Platforms. Kalaari is expected to invest an additional $ 100 million in the next year.

A Reliance spokesperson told that the retail-to-tech group is “committed to supporting the creation of a thriving startup ecosystem in India. Particularly in the digital enablement sector, and will continue to explore various avenues to do so”. Interestingly, Reliance acquired several stakes over the years including the Kalaari-supported 4 startups Embibe, Haptik, Zivame, and Urban Ladder.

According to the news, it is in talks to acquire Bengaluru-based dairy and milk startup MilkBasket, which raised $ 7 million in a Series A round led by Kalaari in May 2018. Founded in 2006 by Vani Kola, Kalaari Capital is one of India’s earliest home ground venture funds that currently manages assets of $ 650 million. Its portfolio consists of startups like Dream11, Snapdeal, Cure.fit, Cashkaro, AgNext, Jumbotail, Hiver, Mall91, Simplilearn, Vogo, WazirX, Purple, Mettl.

Although Kalaari is looking for limited partners (LPs) for its fourth fund since 2019, Reliance is looking at a pipeline of young startups across all sectors for a digital-first entity. While the deal is yet to be known, it is likely that RIL may acquire control bets in other Kalaari-backed startups in the future.

Overall, the noise of ‘exits’ through IPOs or buyouts in the domestic startup ecosystem has increased significantly over the last 12 to 15 months. On the other hand, after setting a record of $ 20 billion in FDI last year, Jio Platforms is growing with funds. Ambani said at RIL’s first virtual AGM in 2020, “We are deployed in many ways to help Indian startups, be it in technology development, product development, distribution, market access or even scale-up capital”.