Great news for Indian entrepreneurs!
Nagavara Ramarao Narayana Murthy, better known as N. R. Narayana Murthy and one of the seven founders of Infosys Technologies – a giant of a consulting and IT services company based in India with over 100,000 employees and offices around the globe – is turning to “the dark side” after selling a bundle of company shares in order to set up a venture capital firm.
To set up the fund, the man reportedly sold 800,000 shares, or 0.13% of the company, its total value converting to $38.7 million, more or less.
According to many reports of Indian business and technology publications, Murthy aims to invest mainly in ‘brilliant’ Indian entrepreneurs who found startups that operate in the areas of healthcare, education and nutrition. Considering his background as a technology entrepreneur, I imagine some of the investments will be in technology or Internet companies as well, however. Infosys in a statement said overseas investments will also be consider on a “case-to-case basis”.
Murthy started Infosys with six others back in 1981 by borrowing INR 10,000 (roughly $215 today) from his wife Sudha Murthy, and both still hold a significant part of the company today through a family holding. Infosys went public 12 years after its original founding and its share increased three thousandfold over the next 15 years or so.
While the venture fund may seem small in size to most of our readers, $38 million can go a long way in India, so this is great news for local entrepreneurs and the ecosystem as a whole.
(Thanks for the tip, Jason)