Canadian pension fund invests $20M in Nandan Nilekani’s VC firm Fundamentum

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With an initial corpus of $100 million, Fundamentum will invest in consumer technology businesses, particularly ventures that are solving unique Indian problems

La Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), a leading pension fund in Canada, today announced an initial investment of $20 million in the Fundamentum Partnership, a VC fund promoted by Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani and Helion founder Sanjeev Aggarwal.

With an initial corpus of $100 million extendable to $200 million, Fundamentum will invest in consumer technology businesses, particularly ventures that are solving unique Indian problems. It will lead investment rounds from $10-25 million in companies that have attained the product market fit, have an initial momentum and are looking to scale up. Fundamentum is a platform for entrepreneurs by entrepreneurs and will have on board India’s leading entrepreneurs, as investors and mentors.

It will focus on investments in consumer and enterprise technology businesses across retail, logistics, travel and outsourcing. Fundamentum will combine financial and intellectual capital to scale these businesses.

The investment in Fundamentum’s first growth fund (Series B) is a new strategic investment for CDPQ, enabling it to diversify its activities in India, a priority market. In addition to the investment in Fundamentum, CDPQ will also explore direct investments in Fundamentum’s portfolio companies.

Michael Sabia, President and CEO, CDPQ, said: “The Fundamentum management team has a remarkable track record in the technology sector. By fostering long-term investments and acting as a mentor to companies, the team provides an entrepreneurial approach that is fully aligned with that of CDPQ. As India ranks as the world’s third largest technology startup hub, this new partnership will enable the selected start-ups to scale their businesses and participate in one of the fastest growing parts of the country’s economy. We view this as the beginning of a long‑term partnership leading to subsequent rounds of investment.”

CDPQ is a long-term institutional investor that manages funds primarily for public and parapublic pension and insurance plans. As at December 31, 2017, it held $238.2 billion in net assets. As one of Canada’s leading institutional fund managers, CDPQ invests globally in major financial markets, private equity, infrastructure, real estate and private debt.

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