The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) today announced the formation of a Venture Capital (VC) Committee. The committee will work extensively on public policy consultations, stakeholder engagement, ecosystem enhancement and building a strong industry network for venture capital firms. It will also play an essential role in highlighting sector-specific challenges faced by portfolio companies of the member VC firms. Mr Vikas Agnihotri, Operating Partner, SoftBank Investment Advisers, will chair the VC Committee and Ms. Shweta Rajpal Kohli, Chief Public Policy Officer, Sequoia India & Southeast Asia, will co-chair the committee.
Over the past one decade, India’s start-up ecosystem has undergone a significant transformation. According to the National Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency (Invest India), the country has the third-largest start-up ecosystem in the world, with 69,000 start-ups, out of which 100 are unicorns. An important catalyst for this transformation is the rising flow of venture capital and private equity funding into Indian start-ups. As per IVCA-EY PE / VC Agenda India Trend Book 2022, private equity and venture capital funds invested USD 77.1 billion in Indian companies in 2021, a jump of 62 per cent over the previous year.
The increasing support of venture capital firms to Indian start-ups makes it imperative to highlight the collective issues faced by these firms at appropriate forums. Therefore, the Venture Capital Committee formed by IAMAI provides an appropriate platform for the VC community.
The VC committee will be a bi-partisan group having nearly half its members from the Indian VC community. Seqouia India, SoftBank, Multiples Alternate Asset Management, Indian Angel Network, 3one4 Capital, Eximius and other domestic and international venture funds have joined this committee as members.
Some of the issues being taken up by the committee are direct foreign listing of Indian start-ups, clarification on Gift tax, taxation on ESOPs, angel fund structure, GIFT City regulations etc.
Ms. Shweta Rajpal Kohli said, “I am honoured to co-chair the VC Committee of IAMAI. The formation of this committee is a crucial step towards furthering the government’s vision of turning India into an attractive investment destination for VC & PE firms and building a world-class start-up ecosystem. We look forward to working with key stakeholders for making good corporate governance a key priority for the sector.”
Mr Vikas Agnihotri, Operating Partner, SoftBank Investment Advisers, said, “I am delighted to chair the VC committee of IAMAI. We will work with all the stakeholders in building a robust and transparent framework for investors who are betting on India’s accelerating digital GDP. Venture capital and private equity are backing the high-velocity companies in job creation and capex spending, revving up the overall market buoyancy.”
Earlier this year, honourable Finance Minister Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman, during her Union Budget 2022 speech, acknowledged the valuable contribution of venture capital and private equity firms towards supporting India’s start-up ecosystem and making India a $ 5 trillion economy. Ms. Sitharaman had also announced setting up an expert committee regarding the regulatory framework for the venture capital and private equity industry.