SBICAP Ventures 'at drawing board' stage over plans to float new fund in India – CEO

Interview 17 May

SBICAP Ventures 'at drawing board' stage over plans to float new fund in India – CEO

SBICAP Ventures (SVL), a Mumbai, India-based alternative asset management company, is seeking to raise a new private equity fund in the coming year, CEO and Managing Director Suresh Kozhikote told Mergermarket.   

At the ‘drawing board’ stage, the management will finalize contours including designated sector and the size this fiscal year ending March 2024, he noted.   

The fund size will be subject to investment thesis, which is still under discussion, the CEO said, adding that it will be around INR 50bn-INR 100bn (USD 608m-USD 1.2bn) should it opt for an infrastructure vehicle.  

For a sector-focused private equity fund, the size is expected to range between INR 15bn (USD 182m) and INR 20bn (USD 243m). The potential target sectors include infrastructure, technology, pharmaceutical, and healthcare among others, he said.  

The fund will have a sector focus, Kozhikote emphasized. Citing technology as an example, he noted that sub-sectors such as digital economy, deep tech, and agriculture-tech are interesting themes.  

The upcoming fund will have a typical private equity term with a 10-year life cycle, the CEO noted.  

SVL is a wholly owned subsidiary of SBI Capital Markets, part of India’s largest public sector lender State Bank of India (SBI) [NSE:SBIN], as per its website. It has assets under management (AUM) of USD 3.9bn, per its website. 

Limited Partners  

SBICAP Ventures will reach out to prospective limited partners (LPs) at the end of this fiscal year or the beginning of FY25, Kozhikote said. 

It will leverage existing relationships – both domestic and those with LPs in Europe and Japan for the upcoming fund. It remains open to LPs from other geographies including the US, he added. 

European and Japanese institutions that have backed SVL-run funds include European Investment Bank (EIB), the UK government’s Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), according to its website.

Its domestic backers include SBI, the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), and the Government of India through the Ministry of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), its website shows.  


SVL operates three funds and two fund of funds; Neev I Fund, Neev II Fund and SWAMIH Fund, and fund of funds SRI Fund and UKIDCF.  

Neev I and Neev II are ESG and impact investment-focused private equity funds. Neev I Fund, which was launched in 2015, has fully deployed INR 5.2bn of capital across 10 domestic companies out of which it exited one and partially exited two. Neev II Fund, which is 2021 vintage with targeted INR 20bn corpus, has so far deployed in four investments, according to the CEO. 

The portfolio companies include renewable power generator United Sustainable Energy India, dairy and dairy products manufacturer Milk Mantra, agri storage solutions provider Lakshmi Agri Logistics, operator of the dialysis centers RAHI Care Dialysis, waste solutions provider Blue Planet and green hydrogen developer Hygenco Green Energies among others, as per its website. 

The firm’s largest vehicle SWAMIH Fund (Special Window for Completion of Affordable and Mid-Income Housing), at INR 155.3bn (USD 1.9bn), was established in 2019. The fund is sponsored by the Ministry of Finance, Government of India, to provide relief to homebuyers of stalled projects.  

The SRI also called the Self Reliant India Fund, with an overall corpus of INR 100bn (USD 1.2bn), is also backed by the Government of India via National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC). It invests in regulator SEBI-registered Category I and Category II Alternative Investment Funds known as ‘Daughter Funds’. The Daughter Funds in turn invest in micro, small and medium enterprises, per its website.  

The UKIDF, UK India Development Cooperation Fund, invests in sectors and themes aligned with development cooperation priorities between the United Kingdom and India.  

Helming SBICAP Ventures 

CEO and Managing Director Suresh Kozhikote has over 35 years of experience with the State Bank of India, serving in various capacities including private equity, alternate investments, treasury, retail banking, and indirect taxes.   

Outside of SBICAP, he enjoys reading novels and watching football. He follows the English Premier League and is an avid Liverpool Football Club fan.

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