In a significant move aimed at fostering innovation in the Indian start-up ecosystem, Paytm’s founder and CEO, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, has introduced a SEBI-approved, Category II Alternate Investment Fund (AIF) known as ‘VSS Investments Fund.’ With an initial fund size of Rs. 20 crore and an additional Rs. 10 crore green shoe option, this new fund is strategically positioned to invest in homegrown start-ups specializing in two cutting-edge sectors: artificial intelligence (AI) and electric vehicles (EV).
Empowering Indian Innovation in AI and EV:
Vijay Shekhar Sharma’s initiative underscores his unwavering commitment to supporting pioneering start-ups operating in the fields of AI and EV in India. By launching the VSS Investments Fund, he aims to provide a vital boost to these dynamic sectors that hold immense potential for growth and transformation.
A Focus on Indian Consumers and Businesses:
The core focus of the VSS Investments Fund will be on start-ups that cater to the needs of both Indian consumers and businesses. Sharma’s vision aligns with India’s ambitious goal of becoming a $10 trillion Atmanirbhar (self-reliant) economy driven by innovation and entrepreneurship. By nurturing indigenous talent and innovation, the fund aspires to contribute to the nation’s technological advancement.
Building on a Legacy of Support:
Vijay Shekhar Sharma has a proven track record of supporting innovative start-ups. His previous investments have benefited companies such as Ola Electric, Josh Talks, Mesa School, UNNATI, KAWA Space, Praan, GOQii, KWH Bikes, Daalchini, and Treebo Hotels. With the launch of the VSS Investments Fund, he is poised to further amplify his commitment to these ventures.
Follow-On Investments for Existing Ventures:
In addition to supporting new start-ups, the VSS Investments Fund will provide follow-on investments to Sharma’s existing portfolio of consumer and B2B tech start-ups. This strategic approach ensures continuity and growth for promising ventures.
VSS Investco Private Limited Leads the Way:
VSS Investco Private Limited, an entity owned and overseen by Vijay Shekhar Sharma, serves as the sponsor for the fund. His active involvement in the fund, along with contributions from external investors, reaffirms his dedication to nurturing India’s start-up ecosystem.
Sharma’s Vision for India’s Tech Powerhouse:
In his own words, Vijay Shekhar Sharma believes that “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.” The launch of the VSS Investments Fund stands as a testament to this vision and his commitment to driving India’s innovation journey forward.
The introduction of the VSS Investments Fund marks an exciting chapter in India’s start-up landscape, signaling a promising future for AI and EV start-ups and reinforcing Vijay Shekhar Sharma’s role as a catalyst for innovation and progress.