Non-profit organisation Artpark is in the process of setting up a USD 100-million fund to nurture deep technology start-ups in India and help them in becoming part of the global ecosystem, a senior company official said. The organisation, established by Indian Institute of Science (IISc), expects the fund to be operational within three months. “We are in the process of registering a USD 100-million fund with Sebi (Securities and Exchange Board of India). It will basically support start-ups with long-term investments.
It will become operational in another two to two-and-a-half months,” AI and Robotics Technologies Park (Artpark) CEO Umakant Soni told PTI. Artpark has received USD 22 million seed fund from the Department of Science and Technology (DST). It has started an Artpark innovation programme under which it selects four sets of start-ups based on their grooming needs and aims to help them scale up globally. Soni said that in any country, public buying forms 20-22 per cent of GDP, and Artpark is trying to bridge the gap in the public buying ecosystem to enhance acceptance and development of deep tech companies in India.
“Pentagon gave a USD 10-billion cloud computing order. First, it is a huge order and then what it does practically ensures that standards get formed around that product. “Through the boost programme, we are slowly allowing start-ups to access the system built by the government and also work on joint go to market with the government to improve innovation buying,” he said. Artpark co-founder and CIO Subhashis Banerjee said that when new technology becomes commercially available after 10-30 years, it becomes difficult to work on them and develop them indigenously.
“Then we import it from developed countries. Standard venture capitalist industry in India has a maximum 6-8 years view. “If we do not have representation in emerging technologies then we will struggle as a nation. We are growing companies which are strategically important and don’t have a significant existence today,” Banerjee said. Soni said that if there is 20-22 per cent of innovation buying, then India will become a powerful innovator for any kind of start-up whether it is drones, robotics or cutting edge technology in healthcare.