Creating an India-UK corridor to nurture tech collaborations

An investment expert goes into some of what drives her cross-border fund which aims to help scale up early-stage UK-based technology businesses into India. The significance and impact of technology in our personal and professional lives cannot be discounted. Economies around the world are increasingly depending on the growth in their digital assets. Furthermore, technology has also gained increased significance in our personal lives. Consumer products, home appliances, phones, even jewelry items among others are witnessing technological disruptions. This has led to significant amount of capital being invested into building businesses that develop and disseminate these technologies . As pointed out by the Venture Pulse report, released by KPMG for Q2 2018, the Venture Capital sector saw investments worth $70 billion in Q2 2018. This followed investments of well over $50 billion in Q1 2018. Furthermore, in 2017, investments in the Venture Capital sector hit an annual record of $155 billion. Given this backdrop, governments around the world are also realising the importance of technologies for their respective economies. Various countries are forging partnerships to collaborate on different aspects of technology. Partnerships in these areas now is expected to not only aid economic growth in the participating countries but will also help develop deeper relationships as these “tech bonds” become more significant in the future. One of the most active tech partnerships today is the UK-India Tech Partnership which was jointly announced by the Prime Ministers of both the countries in April 2018[1]. The aim of the partnership is to “identify and pair businesses, venture capital, universities and others to provide access routes to markets for British and Indian entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises” as per a statement by the UK government at the time. Post this announcement, activity in this corridor has significantly increased. Several delegations with public sector officials and private sector stakeholders have travelled between both countries to form partnerships for large number of projects. For e.g. the latest delegation from the UK to India was led by the Lord Mayor of the City of London. As part of this delegation, 11 representatives from UK-based fintech firms met top government officials and senior industry leaders in India. On the back of this partnership, several cross-border funds and advisory firms have also started to emerge. One such Fund, called the Unicorn Ascension Fund (UAF), has been formed on the back of a collaboration between a UK based VC company called Ascension Ventures and an India based VC company called Unicorn India Ventures. The Fund aims to invest in UK-based technology businesses that build technologies which are relevant for the Indian market. The idea behind the Fund’s thesis is simple; unlock the synergies between UK’s innovation and the rapidly digitizing Indian economy.

Read More

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *