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This article was first published 9 years ago  » Business » Ratan Tata may roll out e-cart, again

Ratan Tata may roll out e-cart, again

By Digbijay Mishra
March 05, 2015 08:57 IST
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Ratan TataThe 77-year-old has held at least two meetings with founders of two of the three firms he invested in last year.

Ratan Tata, the chairman emeritus of Tata Sons, is likely to step up his investments online.

Tata made personal investments in four companies last year.

Tata has held at least two meetings with founders of two of three firms (Urban Ladder, Snapdeal and BlueStone Jewellery) he invested in last year, according to sources.

While the discussion has revolved around bringing further innovation into the business model of the companies, there have been early-stage talks on Tata considering increasing his stakes in these companies.

The investments have been placed via RNT Associates Pvt Ltd, a company he registered in 2009, three years before his retirement in 2012.

While Tata has less than one per cent stake in Snapdeal, the 77-year-old industrialist has invested about Rs 3 crore (Rs 30 million) in Bengaluru-based Bluestone Jewellery.

All the three companies where Tata put his money last year are looking for fresh funds this year. Bangalore-based furniture player Urban Ladder and Bluestone are seeking to raise $50 million each, while marketplace major Snapdeal is looking to $400-500 million.

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“A part of the new series of fund-raising could come from RNT Associates, while the majority would still come from venture capital firms and new investors,” a source said.

In February, Tata donned a new role of an advisor to early-stage venture capital firm Kalaari Capital. He will advise Kalaari on a portfolio of companies the firm is looking to invest in.

Kalaari Capital has made investment in three firms Tata invested in last year, Snapdeal, Urban Ladder and Bluestone.

"He (Tata) joining the company is a big vote of trust and the best thing is he does not dictate on operational issues,” said a co-founder of a niche e-commerce company in which Tata invested in 2014.

Much like the big boys of Indian e-commerce, the companies chosen by Tata have reported multiple times growth but profits are elusive.

Image: Ratan Tata; Photograph: Reuters

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Digbijay Mishra in New Delhi
Source: source

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