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Suzuki rolls out Rs 340 Cr Next Bharat Ventures fund for Indian startups


Japanese automotive conglomerate Suzuki has launched an India-focused venture investment arm called Next Bharat Ventures, with a corpus of Rs 340 crore to back early-stage startups.

The vehicle will be set up as a subsidiary of Suzuki, which will be the sole limited partner (LP) for the first fund and LPs are sponsors in the funds.

Next Bharat Ventures will make investments through a residency programme and its first cohort will begin in October this year, with applications starting on Thursday. This will be similar to residency programmes run by the likes of Antler and Y Combinator but will focus on firms that will make a social impact through their businesses.

Next Bharat Ventures aims to make up to 20 investments per year over the next three to four years. The cheque sizes will range from Rs 1 crore to Rs 8 crore. The fund will focus on sectors like agritech, supply chain management, financial inclusion and rural mobility, among others.

The investments will have a span of 15 years and the corpus will focus on businesses that benefit workers in the informal economy, like gig workers and waste management workers, as well as those that work with the rural economy, involving farmers and artisans.

In June 2023, Maruti Suzuki India selected 6 startups including DriverShaab, Route2Jute, OiHelp, Hopun Innovations, Backyard Creators and Salutem Ridegear under its nurture program. The program was conducted jointly with IIM Calcutta Innovation Park (IIMCIP).

Earlier this year, Maruti Suzuki India acquired 6.44% stake in in Amlgo Labs.

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