Ratan Tata, the one-man venture fund capitalist, has invested in a total of 22 start-ups till now. The former Chairman of Tata Sons, who retired from the company in 2012, still remains its chairman emeritus.
Here are the things you must know about Tata’s spate of investments:
Tata started investing in start-ups in 2014 and in over two years has invested in as many as 22 start-ups till date.
Within a month of start of the year 2016, Tata has invested in four companies, namely cashback and coupons site CashKaro, Tracxn, Dogspot and baby care platform FirstCry.
In 2015, Tata invested in about 14 startups, including UrbanClap, CrayonData and Paytm.
His first investment was in a US-based wind energy start-up Altaeros in 2014.
Snapdeal was the first Indian start-up in which Tata invested in.
The investments by Ratan Tata are valued by the start-ups not for its monetary value but more for the brand name and recognition it brings along with it. It is seen more as a stamp of approval to the business model of the start-up by the industry veteran.
The amounts of investment in the start-ups have mostly been discreet but are said to be relatively small amounts.
Most of the investments by Tata have been in the digital and e-tailing space. From furniture curator Urban Ladder, jewellery online retailer Bluestone, car comparing and selling portal Cardekho, PayTM, women’s clothing portal Karyaah to Sabeer Bhatia’s communication company Sabse technologies and bitcoin company Abra, clearly substantiate Tata’s faith in the growth of technology and online space.
Investments in the social sector: With Tata Group known for its philanthropy efforts, he invested Rs 2 crore in Swasth Bharat, a venture for healthcare facilities for the poor. He also invested undisclosed amount in Grameen Captial’s debt fund.
Other major investments: The only smartphone company to get investment from Tata turned out to be Chinese handset maker Xiaomi. Amongst the various taxi aggregators, Tata chose Bhavish Aggarwal-run Ola to invest in.