Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Founder and CEO of fintech giant Paytm has launched a maiden investment fund for his private investments to support Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Electric Vehicles(EVs) related businesses. The Category II Alternate Investment Fund (AIF), ‘VSS Investments Fund’ is approved by the Securities and Exchanges Board of India (SEBI). The total size of the AIF scheme is ₹20 crore with a green shoe of ₹10 Cr, making the total corpus ₹30 Cr.
The sector agnostic fund will target AI, environment and sustainability related startups, that are incubated in the country, and are specially focused to serve Indian consumers and businesses. Additionally, various follow-up investments of Sharma’s current startup investments in consumer and B2B tech space will also come from this fund. In the past, he has also focused on investing in startups driving sustainability and air quality improvement.
Vijay Shekhar Sharma would be one of the primary contributors of the fund along with other external investors. The AIF has been sponsored by VSS Investco Private Limited, an entity owned and controlled by Sharma and will be actively managed by a professional investment manager.
Commenting on the launch of the fund, Sharma said, “The Indian startup ecosystem has some of the brightest entrepreneurs in the world, and we have the potential to become a powerhouse of advanced technology and AI-driven innovations. India’s aspiration to be a $10 Trillion Atmanirbhar economy will be defined by the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship. The launch of this fund is a continuation of my belief in supporting young and promising Indian founders, aligned with the fact that technology has a huge role to play in the development of the country.”
Sharma’s inspiring journey has motivated a generation of entrepreneurs. He has been instrumental in promoting the start-up ecosystem in the country. Being passionate about technology-led innovations, he has backed several start-ups including Ola Electric, Josh Talks, Mesa School, UNNATI, KAWA Space, Praan, GOQii, KWH Bikes, Daalchini and Treebo Hotels.