The Exfinity fund will be headed by V Balakrishnan along with other tech veterans who’ve quit their top-level posts to go entrepreneurial. The fund will initially have Rs 100 crore ($16.2 million) to invest.
The new fund will be focused on technology startups in the fields of big data, analytics, and security. It aims to invest in 15 to 17 startups in those areas.
Former Infosys executive Mohandas Pai, who is heading Manipal Education, will join Balakrishnan in leading the Exfinity fund. Also onboard is Girish Paranjape, a former executive at Wipro; iFlex Solutions ex-CEO Deepak Ghaisas; startup investor Rajiv Kuchhal; and Sunil Mantri, chairman of real-estate firm Mantri Realty.
In an interview with CNBC-TV18, Balakrishnan said that he is awaiting approval from the Security Exchange Board of India (SEBI) for the new fund. According to Balakrishnan, most equity or venture funds in India are managed by non-tech people, so his fund would benefit by being driven by experienced technology professionals.
While Balakrishnan – who had been tipped as a future Infosys CEO – is happy to become part of the growing entrepreneur ecosystem in India, it’s a big loss for Infosys. Indeed, it’s the latest of many losses, where more than half a dozen top executives have quit from the Bangalore-based tech giant this year. The company paid tribute to Balakrishnan in a statement.
(Editing by Steven Millward)