Reliance Industries’ venture capital arm Reliance GenNext Ventures is stepping up its investments in digital technology startups in tandem with the $57 billion-by revenue-conglomerate’s ambitious entry into telecom with 4G services. It plans to back five or six of the second batch of 11 companies that have just graduated out of its four month-accelerator programme in partnership with Microsoft Ventures, GenNext Hub and actively looks for early stage ventures outside its own mentorship programme. GenNext looks to invest up to $10 million in a startup while it has not set a limit for itself. It has a stage-agnostic approach towards early stage investments. It has invested in four companies so far including enterprise software firm Covacsis and surveillance solutions company Videonetics. Vivek Rai Gupta, former India head of management consultancy firm AT Kearney, who was brought on board by Reliance Industries three years ago to lead its venture investments, talks to VCCircle on GenNext’s plans in an exclusive interaction.
Can you tell us about GenNext Ventures’ investments so far?
GenNext’s approach is that we will invest in some companies in our accelerator programme and we will build our own platforms. Through the fund, we have invested in four. The accelerator has just started and most investments in the fund as of now are outside the accelerator. We look at investing in companies in India and abroad. We have done several investments (in companies) on our balance sheet but I can’t talk about them.