Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons, Ratan Tata, has continued with his investments into India’s burgeoning start-up space. On Friday, he announced an investment into e-ticketing company Kyazoonga, without disclosing the financial details. Together, Tata has now crossed over 30 investments in start-ups in less than two years.
Tata made his first investment in home grown e-commerce company, Snapdeal, in August 2014 and since then he has funded start-ups across various segments such as healthcare, pure play technology, social impact, media, analytics and even pet care. The quantum of investment by Tata into these start-ups are said to be miniscule but it brings in enormous amount of recognition and mentorship for these companies. In almost all of these cases, he has kept the quantum of investment private.
Neetu Bhatia, CEO and co-founder of Kyazoonga said, “We are delighted to have Mr Tata on board. As we scale Kyazoonga into a global enterprise, glad to know he shares in the excitement of our mission of ‘Tickets made simple for everyone, everywhere.”
For Neetu Bhatia, the investment from Tata has helped her come a full circle – as a young engineering student at the College of Engineering, Pune, Neetu had interned at Tata Motors. When she was accepted as a graduate student into MIT and as a research student at the world-renowned International Motor Vehicle Programme at MIT, Tata had written her a personal note encouraging her to come back to India and change the world.
Significantly, Tata’s investments have not been restricted to just India as he has invested in Chinese company Xiaomi and US based MIT founded firm Altaeros.
In 2016 alone, Tata’s investments have poured into over 10 firms, spanning companies such as Niki.ai which is focused on artificial intelligence and others like Tea Box, which is into selling premium tea.
In some of the companies, where Tata has put in the investments, they have managed to raise further round of funding along with witnessing a sharp rise in valuation like Ola and Snapdeal.
He entered some of them at a very early stage, but with many others he came in when the valuations were pretty high. He seems willing to invest in a company at higher valuations, if he is convinced, which is unlike an angel investor.
His other significant investments include Paytm, Urban Ladder, Zivame, CarDekho, UrbanClap and Bluestone.