MUMBAI: Realty major Ajmera group has set up a 10 million dollar (about Rs 75 crore) fund for investing in start ups in the technology, e-commerce, customer internet, solar, fintech, real estate and other sectors as part of its diversification strategy.
“Real estate, fundamentally, does attract us but we are open to investing in any business where we get an exciting opportunity with good growth potential. This will help us to diversify, grow faster and venture into newer areas,” Dhaval Ajmera, Director, Ajmera Realty, told BusinessLine. “Start-ups also help us to understand the pulse of the market. We are looking to close this fund in one year’s time depending on the opportunities coming our way. And then we will look at another fund next year,” he added.
The company has already invested Rs 2.5 crore in angel funding in hyperlocal services marketplace BookMeIn, professional sports training academy Sports Gurukul and Modulex, which builds the entire home in a factory and the module is simply fixed up at the site. “Some of these are unrelated to our real estate business but are, nevertheless, exciting companies for future growth,” he said. “For now, the fund size is ten million dollars and depending on growth of investment and opportunities, we will look into it. We just want to invest in the right opportunities,” he added.
Ajmera group already has presence in the alternate energy sector. Last month, it announced the launch of a 15 MW solar energy plant in Kutch besides its foray into the education sector. It could look at more investments in these areas. “If opportunities are good, we can also consider downright acquisitions,” Ajmera added.
Investment funds have become the new mode of creating a wider network and stronger ecosystems around real estate. Last year, developer Lodha Group had also launched its maiden investment fund for start-ups, focussed on smart-city solutions and the real estate sector. With an initial corpus of Rs 50 crore, the company had said it will provide angel funding and venture capital alongside business opportunities, industry contacts and mentorship.