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Alternative asset manager Roots Ventures aims for Rs 200 Cr investment fund by December; VSS doubles commitment

Paytm Founder and CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma on Tuesday said he has doubled his commitment for an investment fund being set up by alternative ...

Paytm Founder and CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma on Tuesday said he has doubled his commitment for an investment fund being set up by alternative asset manager Roots Ventures.

Roots Ventures expects to close the fund in December with a corpus of Rs 200 crore, according to Founder Japan Vyas. It plans to invest in “direct-to-consumer” brands that provide natural and organic categories, plant-based protein, and healthy beverages.

“I am happy to increase my investment with Vyas and the team at Roots Ventures who have an investing track record of picking winners across business cycles over more than a decade,” Vijay Shekhar Sharma said.

He added that right from when he invested in Paytm in 2010 or later when he bet on firms like RBL Bank, NSE, Indusind Bank, Veeba and Hindustan Foods, Vyas had been able to identify emerging trends and invest in them ahead of others.

“Their low-profile investing style has held them in good stead even in their current fund, which has weathered the COVID-19 disruption admirably.

“I think it is upon us to back such homegrown managers who encourage and support innovation and entrepreneurship by taking a differentiated long-term approach,” VSS said.

Paytm, Vijay Shekhar Sharma

Paytm Founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma

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Though he did not disclose his contribution, two sources shared that his earlier commitment in the fund was Rs 10 crore, which will be doubled to Rs 20 crore.

Vyas said it was a matter of pride and continuing responsibility when existing investors increased their commitment to the fund.

“It reinforces our belief that we are on the right track. I am thankful to Sharma for having doubled his commitment to the fund bang in the middle of a pandemic,” Vyas said.

He added that Vijay Shekhar Sharma’s conviction will also help in fundraising efforts, which are picking up steam after the past few months of lockdown.

He also said Roots Ventures was in advanced discussions with a couple of domestic and international fund of funds and niche wealth advisory outfits who are taking its offering to their high networth individual clients and family offices.

“Our portfolio has performed remarkably during COVID-19 with our disbursed portfolio, up 50 percent in less than a year of our investing, attracting marquee investors, and almost 80 percent of our portfolio above their pre-COVID-19 monthly matrix,” Vyas said.

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