Search giant Google Inc., which has described the Indian market as hamstrung by a dearth of early-stage venture capital, has announced two more pacts here that aim to give it more breadth in the venture funding of companies in this country. The investments build on two other early-stage venture-funding arrangements in India that Google announced earlier this year.
Google announced an investment of undisclosed value in Ventureast Tenet Fund II, a seed-stage fund run by The Telecommunication and Computer Networking Group of the Indian Institute of Technology (Chennai). The decade-old fund has helped incubate several companies in areas such as wireless communications and networking with the broad aim of developing world-class technologies at affordable prices. Venture East is the entrepreneurial partner of the Tenet Group.
Google also has joined the Indian Angel Network. Said to be the first such investment group of its kind in this country, the angel network provides funds, mentoring and other strategic inputs in partnership with bodies such as the National Association of Software and Service Companies and the India Venture Capital Association.
Google entered the venture-funding scenario in this country earlier this year when it tied up with Erasmic Venture Fund, a cross-border funding agency that focuses on operations with India-based delivery and U.S.-based sales, and Seed Advisors, whose Seed fund leverages the experience of industry veterans to invest at the seed stage in Indian startups.
"Despite their critical importance to the innovation chain, the early stages of venture capital financing are underserved in the Indian market. These partnerships will help us nurture the growth of startups and build a dynamic entrepreneurial environment in India," said Samir Sood, Google's head of corporate development for South Asia.