India ICICI plans $200 mn small firms fund
India's ICICI Bank is set to launch a $150 million to $200 million fund in a few weeks that will be invested in small and medium companies, said a Reuters report based on sources. The new fund will be separate from ICICI's private equity arm, ICICI Ventures that manages more than $2 billion.
“Regulatory approvals required for the fund are currently being processed and we would be able to provide an update once these have been granted and the fund raising process is completed,” an ICICI spokesman is understood to have told Reuters an emailed statement.
The bank is expected to kick-start the fund raising exercise sometime next week. The news agency quoted the sources saying that ICICI will raise the money primarily from institutional investors and top customers.
The small and medium companies spans sectors such as jewellery, textiles and engineering that typically lean on founders for equity and banks for debt. These sectors usually fall below the threshold for a private equity fund, while venture capital firms focus on start-ups in software and back offices.