Paytm’s CEO and founder, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, has unveiled a new Category II Alternate Investment Fund (AIF) called ‘VSS Investments Fund’, with a nod from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
The fund, boasting a size of Rs. 20 crore and an additional green shoe option of Rs. 10 crore, is strategically aimed at investments in start-ups from India focusing on the rapidly growing sectors of artificial intelligence (AI) and electric vehicles (EV). This move reaffirms Sharma’s commitment to nurturing and bolstering innovation within India’s AI and EV landscape.
Central to the VSS Investments Fund’s investment strategy will be start-ups that cater specifically to the demands and needs of Indian consumers and businesses. Sharma’s vision aligns closely with India’s aspirations to morph into a $10 trillion Atmanirbhar economy, with innovation and entrepreneurship at the core.
Vijay Shekhar Sharma remarked, “The Indian start-up ecosystem has some of the brightest entrepreneurs in the world, and we have the potential to become a powerhouse of advanced technology and AI-driven innovations.”
It’s noteworthy that Sharma isn’t new to the start-up investment space. In the past, he has provided significant backing to companies like Ola Electric, Josh Talks, Mesa School, UNNATI, KAWA Space, Praan, GOQii, KWH Bikes, Daalchini, and Treebo Hotels. Interestingly, many of Sharma’s existing investments in both consumer-centric and B2B tech start-ups are poised to gain follow-on investments courtesy of the VSS Investments Fund.
Further bolstering the fund’s credibility, VSS Investco Private Limited, an entity directly under Sharma’s ownership and control, has sponsored the fund. Sharma, along with a select group of external investors, is set to be a principal contributor to the fund, solidifying his commitment to India’s burgeoning start-up scene.