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Thursday, May 31, 2007

NRIs launch $7 mn investment fund

The Andhra Pradesh Investment Fund, a new angel investment company with a corpus of $7 million, was launched here Tuesday for specifically targeting companies in the state.

Venkatesh Tadinanda and Pradeep Shenoy, both US based entrepreneurs, and Hyderabad-based entrepreneur Indira Porwal have promoted the fund with the sole objective of investing in IT, biotechnology and other knowledge-based sectors.

Venkatesh, CEO of Andhra Pradesh Investment Fund, told journalists that the fund was being financed by philanthropic NRI investors who want to give back to their state and country.

He said the fund would be created in two phases. While $2 million would be raised by the end of the current year, $5 million would be raised next year. The funds would be raised through an 'investment club' where investors can invest amounts ranging from $25,000 to $100,000.

"The fund is a means to help Indian talent get a chance to demonstrate its potential and achievements on a world stage and derive the utmost financial advantage," Venkatesh said.

Besides funding, the budding entrepreneurs will get the necessary assistance - from concept to commercialization.

The fund has set up an office in Hyderabad to receive the proposals, which will be cleared by an investment review committee in the US.

According to Venkatesh, $350,000 had already been raised and four proposals for funding have been received.

Minister for IT and Communications R. Damodar Reddy, who launched the fund, said it would go a long way in helping small and medium enterprises and contribute to the state government's plans to create large scale employment opportunities.

Venkatesh has promoted a couple of start-ups, including Solivar Inc, a Hyderabad-based IT company, while Pradeep is an engineer and alumnus of the Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata.

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