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Micromax To Set Up $100-Million Fund To Invest In Consumer Internet Firms

Homegrown Micromax recently announced about its plans to set up a $100 million (Rs 680 crore) independent fund, which will completely focus towards investing in consumer Internet companies all across the globe that hold relevance to the Indian market.

Micromax, which is among the second largest handset makers in the country, will be playing the role of anchor investor in the fund, and will be looking to invest money in about 10-12 startups with a ticket size of $3-5 million each. Reportedly, the company will also be cashing out of from two of its 10 investment portfolio companies by the end of March this year, so as to round off what has been a very tough fiscal year for the company, courtesy intense competition in the market. The names of the portfolio companies out which Micromax will be cashing out haven't been revealed by the company yet.

In an interview given by Micromax co-founder Rahul Sharma to PTI, he mentions that the company has tasted huge success with all of their investments that they have strategically done over the period of last two years and the company's progression to announce an independent fund was due to the large opportunities/prospects that the market holds. The fund will be exclusively investing in consumer Internet companies all across the globe that will hold some local relevance to India.

The fund called Orbis Capital is currently in the midst of building an advisory board alongside the investment team. It already has entrepreneurs like Parry Blacher (former co-founder, Covestor) and Nami Zarringhalam (Truecaller co-founder) on board. Kumar Shah, who is a known name for spearheading Micromax's global investment programme will be taking on the role of leading the fund along with his existing team. Currently, all the advisors will be working pro-bono.

Micromax started its investment programme in the year 2014, and has since then used a part of the $400 million to invest in 10 companies. According to Sharma, Micromax has always aimed at creating an ecosystem, which is what they did with their first investment fund.

The Orbis Capital will be raising capital from private equity firms and pension funds among other investors, both in India and abroad. Micromax has already identified some potential targets and deals could be struck with them within the next 18 months.

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