Kerala Approves INR 250 Cr Venture Capital Fund To Promote Startups

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The approval was given at a state cabinet meeting chaired by chief minister Pinarayai Vijayan

An amount of INR 1 Cr was also set aside for the initial expenditure related to the formation of the corpus fund

The amount of INR 250 Cr will be mobilised via a jointly sponsored trust of Kerala State Financial Enterprises along with other financial arms of the state government

The Kerala government on Wednesday (June 22) approved setting up of INR 250 Cr venture capital (VC) fund for the growth of startups in the state.

The decision was taken at a state cabinet meeting chaired by chief minister Pinarayai Vijayan. An amount of INR 1 Cr was also set aside for the initial expenditure related to the formation of the corpus fund. 

The amount of INR 250 Cr will be mobilised via a jointly sponsored trust of Kerala State Financial Enterprises along with other financial arms of the state government, a statement said.

In the state Budget, presented in March, the government had announced the setting up of a VC fund. In February, Vijayan had set an ambitious target of creating 15,000 startups and 2 Lakh jobs in emerging technologies in the state in the next five years

With an efficiently interlinked system of schools, colleges and incubators, the startup ecosystem in the state is thriving. Kochi has emerged as one of the startup hubs in the county and was ranked first in Asia in Affordable Talent in Global Startup Ecosystem Report (GSER) released recently.

As per the government data, Kerala is home to more than 3,100 technology startups and 40 incubators. The state-based startups claim to have bagged more than INR 2,000 Cr in equity investments and INR 8.4 Cr in direct government procurement. 

The state is also home to a thriving hardware industry with presence of 20 mini fab labs and startups such as Sastra Robotics, VST Mobility, ASIMoV Robotics, among others. The state government is also promoting startups through the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM), the nodal arm to spur entrepreneurship in the state.

A slew of big-ticket startups have emerged from the state. Deeptech startup Agrima Infotech is based in Kerala. The KSUM-incubated startup recently saw the acquisition of its computer vision technology platform Psyight by egrocery giant BigBasket.

In May, Thiruvananthapuram-based robotics startup Genrobotics raised INR 20 Cr from SaaS giant Zoho Corp. In June, Thrissur-based biotechnology startup Zaara Biotech also picked up an undisclosed amount of investment from US-based Transcend International.



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