Murthy willing to sell more for VC fund

Murthy willing to sell more for VC fund
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First Published: Fri, Oct 23 2009. 10 00 PM IST
Updated: Fri, Oct 23 2009. 10 00 PM IST
Bangalore: The chairman and chief mentor of the country’s second largest software exporter Infosys Technologies Ltd may sell more shares in the firm to invest in Catamaran Investments Pvt. Ltd, a venture capital fund he has set up to support early-stage companies in India.
“I’m willing to raise more money through the same route at an appropriate time,” N.R. Narayana Murthy told reporters in a conference call from the US on Friday morning.
Catamaran Investments, named after the Indian sailboat with two parallel hulls, will begin operations in a few months out of Bangalore with a four-member team, he said.
Murthy raised Rs174.3 crore by selling 800,000 out of nearly 3.18 million shares he held in the Bangalore-based firm, Infosys said in a filing to the National Stock Exchange on Thursday.
The fund will not focus on any one sector but invest in early-stage companies, a majority of it in India.
“In India, if you limit yourself to one sector, the number of opportunities is not high,” the 63-year-old Infosys founder said.
Murthy’s peer in India’s technology sector, Azim Premji, chairman of India’s third largest IT firm, Wipro Ltd, owns a similar fund.
In 2000, N.S. Raghavan, a co-founder and former joint managing director of Infosys, retired from the company to start Nadathur Holdings and Investments Pvt. Ltd, which has invested in several companies.
“I am new to this field and don’t have the competence to recognize venture capital opportunities,” said Murthy. “I’m willing to learn... I’m willing to be a pupil”.
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First Published: Fri, Oct 23 2009. 10 00 PM IST