Indian SMEs and small startup ventures, which are facing a funding crunch since a year or so, can rejoice now as the Indian unit of China’s largest bank, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), has set up US$ 200 million fund (~ ₹ 1,442 crores) for investing in the promising Indian micro, small and medium enterprises and startup ventures, reported Business Line via PTI.

Zheng Bin, CEO of ICBC India, on Monday gave an overview of the Indian startup ecosystem and how to invest in them at the second ‘Startup India’ Investment Seminar organised by the Indian Embassy here.

“He also informed that the ICBC India has established a USD 200 million fund for investing in the promising Indian micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and ventures.

The ICBC, a top state-run Chinese bank which is the country’s largest lender by market value, has opened its branch in Mumbai in 2011. It is also a largest bank in the world by total assets, deposits, loans, number of customers and number of employees. As of December 2017, it had assets worth $4 trillion and is one of China's "Big Four" state-owned commercial banks.

More than 350 Chinese mostly representing Chinese Venture Capital (VC) funds, angel investors participated in a day long pitching session and seminar organised by the Indian Embassy in partnership with the Start-up India Association (SIA) and Venture Gurukool.

Forty-two Indian entrepreneurs representing 20 start-ups took part in the event which was expected to fetch good investments for the Indian firms, said Prashant Lokhande, Counsellor Economic and Commerce of the Indian Embassy, who addressed the event.

Small businesses in India account for 32% of total Indian economy. Government exercises like demonetization and introduction of Goods and Services Tax (GST) have created a ripple effect resulting in lack of capital funds, shortages of trained labour and shortage of raw material.

Last week, Government of India, through Small Industries Development Bank of India (Sidbi), had launched an online portal to offer In-Principle approval for MSME loans up to INR 1 Crore in 59 minutes. Being just a week of its launch, the impact of same is yet to be seen on MSME industry.

Top Image - Haingh [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or FAL], from Wikimedia Commons

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