Singapore-based early stage investor Jungle Ventures, known for its active investment practice in India, has appointed Tata Sons’ chairman emeritus Ratan Tata as special adviser.
Tata will help Jungle’s portfolio companies, which consist of technology-oriented startups, to build ‘strong leadership’ in Asian and global markets, a press statement said.
“As our companies look to become global category leaders in various markets, Tata will help us and our entrepreneurs understand the economics and dynamics of those markets. It has already been a humbling experience to work with Tata and we have found him to be astonishingly responsive, insightful and decisive,” said Amit Anand, founding and managing partner, Jungle Ventures.
Tata joins the likes of Gokul Rajaram (product engineering lead at Square), Lim Dershing (founder of JobsCentral), Alon Sobol (director of ISP/ Telco Relationships for Spotify) and others who are presently advisers to Jungle.
However, 77-year-old Tata, who has been making personal investments in several startups since retiring as Tata group’s chief, will not be picking up any equity in Jungle Ventures. His most recent investment was in cab aggregator Ola.
Earlier Tata had invested in companies like Paytm parent One97 Communications, Snapdeal, Urban Ladder, Bluestone and CarDekho besides investing in Chinese handset maker Xiaomi.
Singapore-based Jungle Ventures is an active VC fund that has a good presence in India. It has invested in 20 Asian startups.
“With Tata by our side, we have the opportunity to become the most impactful venture capital firm out of the Asia-Pacific, with multiple platforms to enable creation of entrepreneurship and formation of significant companies,” said Anand.
In 2012, Jungle Ventures had launched a $10 million seed-to-early stage fund. It is currently raising a second fund with a much bigger corpus.
Since January this year, Jungle Ventures has made couple of known investments. In April, it backed Commeasure Solution India Pvt Ltd, which runs a B2B platform helping hotels develop their direct booking systems and in January, the fund invested in Social Audience Pvt Ltd, a company behind the data intelligence startup Tookitaki.
It also has positions in Zipdial (recently acquired by Twitter), LiveSpace, Tradegecko, CrayonData, Fastacash and travelmob (acquired by Nasdaq-listed HomeAway).