Ratan Tata invests in baby care products retailer FirstCry

Ratan Tata invests in baby care products retailer FirstCryRatan Tata has invested in four Indian start-ups this year. Picture: The chairman emeritus of Tata Group at a panel discussion at Indian Merchants’ Chamber, in Mumbai, India.Reuters file

Ratan Tata, chairman emeritus of Tata Sons, has invested an undisclosed sum in baby care products retailer FirstCry, marking his fourth investment in a start-up in 2016.

His earlier investments in the current year were in technology and data provider Tracxn Technologies, pet dog care portal DogSpot, founded by Rana Atheya, and cashback and coupon portal CashKaro, co-founded by Swati Bhargava and Rohan Bhargava.

The amount invested in the three start-ups was not disclosed.

Ratan Tata had invested in 14 start-ups in 2015.

Five-year old start-up FirstCry sees Tata’s investment as an endorsement of its business philosophy. “A positive nod from a business leader of Tata’s stature is a great vote of confidence in the way we have created the eco-system and validation of our business approach to profitability. We are delighted to have him on board and look forward to gaining from his experience,” said Supam Maheshwari, founder & CEO of Brainbees, which owns FirstCry, reported Dealstreet Asia.

Dealstreet Asia also reported that Brainbees has raised $69 million in several rounds from IDG Ventures India, SAIF Partners, Vertex Ventures, Valiant Capital and NEA.

Tata joined IDG Ventures India as a senior advisor in September 2015. The firm is an early-stage investor in many e-commerce firms and start-ups, including Myntra, Lenskart, Zivame, Vserv, Manthan, Perfint, NestAway, Hiree, and Uniphore.

In other news, Indian real-estate portal Housing.com has received a fresh funding of $15 million from Japan’s SoftBank.

Investors in Housing.com include Nexus Venture Partners, DST Global LP, Falcon Edge Capital LP, Digital Nirvana Fund Co Ltd, Qualcomm Ventures and Helion Venture Partners, reported Dealstreet Asia.

The Indian start-up sector is expected to get a fillip in the coming months, with the launch of the “Start-up India” programme by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s NDA government last week.

The government announced a slew of incentives to support Indian start-ups, which number about 4,200, according to software services body Nasscom.

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