Bengaluru: Mumbai-based real estate developer Ajmera Group will invest up to $10 million in technology-based startups, with a focus on fintech and software-as-a-service (SaaS), as part of its expansion plan. It has already picked up stakes in three startups and plans to invest in another seven by the end of June 2019, said a top executive.
“We are primarily in real estate, but with opportunities coming up in the startup space and the vision of the government, I feel it is a great business opportunity. The future definitely looks good. It gives us an opportunity to enter into a line of business which will grow organically," said Dhaval Ajmera, director at Ajmera Group.
According to Ajmera, Ajmera Group will also consider acquisitions of such companies. Two years ago, it had backed BookMeIn, an online marketplace for services, besides investing in The Sports Gurukul, which runs sports programmes in schools and colleges, and ModuleX, a modular kitchen development startup.
Ajmera, founded 50 years ago, has diversified into various sectors over the years, including power, steel and education. In September, Ajmera entered Bahrain and London with their first international project, according to a Business Standard report. The company also plans to develop residential projects in Rajkot, Bengaluru and Mumbai.
In September 2017, the Lodha Group had tied up with Mumbai-based start-up incubator Zone Start-up India (ZSI) and had launched Palava Accelerator. Lodha had initially invested about $7.8 million in real estate and smart cities.
In 2016, venture capital and private equity investments in Indian startups had dropped by almost 24%, according to a joint report by KPMG and CB Insights. But the funding boom is back after US retail giant Walmart’s 77% stake acquisition in Flipkart. The content startups space, which has benefited from the revival in funding, is projected to close over $400 million in deals by the end of this year, Mint had reported in August.
But with the return of the funding boom, Ajmera will likely face competition from investors such as SAIF Partners, Matrix India Partners and Sequoia Capital, apart from its real estate peers such as Lodha.