Last month when Reliance Industries (RIL) chief Mukesh Ambani announced a Rs 5,000-crore proprietary venture capital (VC) fund called – Jio Digital India Startup Fund, RIL joined the growing club of conglomerates offering capital to digital startups in India.
RIL will be offering capital for not only making financial gains, but also to identify the businesses of tomorrow.
Last month, at time of Jio launch RIL announced the VC fund. “Our aim is to build a platform for young Indians, who want to create digital businesses of the future,” said Ambani talking about the Startup Fund at the RIL annual general meeting. RIL plans to create digital entrepreneurship hubs in key cities across the country and find thousands of entrepreneurs to partner with.
The VC fund is, in addition to GenNext Hub, a four-month startup accelerator programme that RIL runs in collaboration with Microsoft to help early stage digital start-ups scale. The programme provides start-ups access to funding, business mentors besides technical and design experts. Just a week ago, 9 Startups have graduated from first ever batch of GenNext Hub program.
Earlier in April, Reliance Games, a part of Reliance Entertainment, had announced to invest in 20 gaming startups this year and do investments worth over $50,000 in marketing and technology to support some Indian startups as part of its ‘PG Connects’ event.
Reliance Entertainment is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, which is business run by Mukesh Ambani’s younger brother and different from businesses run by RIL.