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One97 & SAIF Partners Launch $100 Million Mobility Fund

One97 Communications*, a mobile Value Added Services company preparing for an IPO and SAIF Partners, one of its investors, have together committed $100 million investment fund for co-investing in mobile value added services companies. The fund, called the One97 Mobility Fund, will look at a ticket size of $0.5M-$5 million in early stage investment. One97 MD Vijay Shekhar Sharma told MediaNama. "We don't mind picking up even 10% stake, but we're not likely to take a majority stake. We want to give entrepreneurs the freedom to build their business. We're looking at early stage companies. I had a problem when I started up, when I had to hunt for a few lakhs of rupees in investment. We'll provide capital, access to go to market, staffing, even tech help where they need it." Sharma and Ravi Adusumalli of SAIF Partners will take calls on the investments. Sharma said that the company wants to take a leadership position in this space, because he feels that "innovation will take a leap once data connectivity in India explodes. This is the right time for entrepeneurs to get into telecom applications space, whether iphone apps, media content, distribution, applications related to education, health, commerce, location based services, mobile advertising..." The fund will focus on investments in companies from the South Asia region. But what of the companies which the fund invests in? What's the exit route? Sharma says that will depend on the company - they'll be free to even merge with One97's competitors. Two companies…

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Written By

Founder @ MediaNama. TED Fellow. Asia21 Fellow @ Asia Society. Co-founder SaveTheInternet.in and Internet Freedom Foundation. Advisory board @ CyberBRICS

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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