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South Korea’s Mirae Asset sets up India-dedicated fund to back early-stage startups

Written by Moulishree Srivastava Published on     2 mins read

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Over the last couple of years, Mirae Asset Venture Investment has invested almost USD 200 million from its global fund in Indian tech startups including Ola, BigBasket, and Zomato, among others. 

Mirae Asset Venture Investment, the venture capital arm of Seoul-headquartered financial services company Mirae Asset Financial Group is setting up a new India-dedicated venture fund to back early-stage startups in India.

The fund, called Mirae Asset Venture Opportunities Fund 1, will have a corpus of USD 35 million, which the company can elevate to USD 75 million, Ashish Dave, chief executive of Mirae Asset Venture Investments told local media Economic Times (ET).

India is the third country after South Korea and China where Mirae operates a country-focused early-stage fund. As such, the company has been getting aggressive in the world’s third-largest startup ecosystem. Over the last two years, Mirae Asset Venture Investment has invested almost USD 200 million from its global fund in Indian tech startups including mobility firm Ola, e-grocery platform BigBasket, food delivery company Zomato, and hyperlocal logistics firm Shadowfax, among others.

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Overall, the 24-year-old venture firm manages USD 1.5 billion across its four funds, including Mirae Asset Naver Asia Growth and Mirae Asset Naver I, and has backed companies like Didi Chuxing, Grab, HappyFresh, Bukalapak, Glovo, RedDoorz, Deskera, and Impossible Foods.

From its India fund, the firm will write checks ranging between USD 2 to USD 4 million for the seed to Series A deals over the next 12 to 18 months across fintech, consumer internet, and software-as-a-service sectors.

“Apart from leading rounds, we will work with some funds closely and co-invest alongside them. We also have our Korean partners who will be investing alongside us,” Dave said.

The fund is expected to operate independently as decision-making will lie with the Indian team led by Dave, who joined Mirae in 2018 and has been overseeing the firm’s growth investments here through Mirae Asset-Naver Asia Growth Fund, the ET report said.

Meanwhile, Mirae would continue to invest in the growth stage companies from its global growth fund. For instance, checks beyond USD 10 million will come out of its global fund rather than India-dedicated fund, as per Dave.

“Our growth fund invests a minimum of USD 10 million in assets due to which we missed out on a lot of early opportunities where companies wanted to raise smaller amounts,” Dave told ET. “Further, since there is a global investment committee process, it takes some time to arrive at a decision. The India fund will give us the flexibility to get in early in some of these deals as the decision-making is local and quick.”

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