Sanjay Nayar is launching his own startup fund, which intends to invest in about ten new businesses. The focus of Nayar’s new fund will be on consumer technology, finance, and software-as-a-service.
Sanjay Nayar, a KKR Co. consultant in India, is launching his own venture fund focused on early-stage companies at a time when the values of some of the country’s most-celebrated IT businesses are plummeting.
Sorin Investment Management, whose name derives from the Romanian word for sun, has secured $125 million from investors including Nayar’s family offices and the Banga family of Caravel Group. The fund intends to invest in about ten businesses, with an emphasis on consumer technology, finance, and software-as-a-service.
Nayar’s firm is looking for possibilities as venture capital heavyweights ranging from Tiger Global to SoftBank Group Corp. report quarterly losses following the tech crash. Sequoia Capital informed the founders of its approximately 250 portfolio businesses in May that the good days for startups are not just past, but there is no telling when they will return.
Nayar stated, “Startups who believed VCs had a lot of dry powder on the sidelines were proven wrong, and this financing oddity occurred as India’s startup ecosystem reached an inflection moment.” The startup fund he is launching will meet that demand by providing companies with financing, expert counsel, and global perspectives, Nayar added.
Sanjay Nayar founded his own fund after working in India’s financial sector for 39 years. In 2008, KKR co-founder Henry Kravis chose him from Citigroup Inc. to run the alternative asset manager’s India division. Nayar stepped down as the private equity fund’s India CEO in December 2020, although he remains on the firm’s advisory board. He is also a member of the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum’s board of directors.
Nayar’s family also invests in the country’s technology industry. It owns more than 52% of Nykaa, originally known as FSN E-Commerce Ventures Ltd., an e-commerce site for beauty items launched by his wife, Falguni Nayar, in 2012. The Mumbai-listed corporation is worth around $9 billion. The family also owns more than 30% of the finance business Flexiloans.
Sorin Investment can potentially expand up and raise funds from additional institutional investors. The Mumbai-based firm, which has a six-person staff, will shortly begin its search for investment prospects.
Nayar concluded, “There is a need to be filled in the country’s early-stage investment ecosystem, and our fund will fill it. We won’t be hasty or brazen about it, but we will approach it steadily.”