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And now, a venture fund with an Indian flavour

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CIOL Bureau
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BANGALORE: A group of three Indian entrepreneurs who have made it big in the

Silicon Valley wants to contribute to their motherland’s fledgling breed of

Internet entrepreneurs in a different way. They are not just investing money in

these new projects, they are also not starting their own ventures here. They

"want to do more than that".

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P.V. Kannan and Shanmugam Nagarajan, who had founded Business Evolution, which

was bought over by Kana Communications for a staggering $140 million last year,

along with Sudhakar Kosaraju, have set up a $10-million fund to realise their

dream in India.

According to Kannan (pvkannan@hotmail.com),

who will head the fund, the group will identify the promising entrepreneur in

the Internet area and help them launch their business. "Depending on the

kind of business they are into, we will talk to a successful Indian IT

professional in the US and get him to adopt the company as a mentor. The US

Indian can invest in the company through our fund," pointed out Kannan,

adding that this would provide the Indian entrepreneur access the US business

model.

Kannan said that the first investment in an IT enabled services would be

announced by the fund in about 4-8 weeks. When asked if the fund would be

identified as a venture fund in India, he said that the legal aspects were yet

to be worked out. "We will perhaps be a combination of a venture capital

and an incubator," pointed out Nagarajan.

We will be able to offer the Indian entrepreneurs knowledge about the segment

he would enter and advise on aspects such as listing on Nasdaq. The fund will

however target only start-ups in the Internet area. Kannan said that the team

was looking at an investment time frame of less than a year. "That is a

long time on the Internet," he added.

Business Evolution, founded by Kannan and Nagarajan in 1997 was acquired by

Kana Communications, leader in the segment with more than 80 per cent market

share. Business Evolution, with staff strength of barely 65, was engaged in

developing online customer communication software. Kosaraju, an American of

Indian origin, is a senior official in PlanetRx.

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