Ratan Tata is a prolific investor and has made numerous investments in many Startups. His style of investment and funding are revered by many across the globe. And his investments are known to emerge as giants in their respective sectors with time. Ola Cabs is an example.
An investment from Ratan Tata gives a boost to startups in terms of publicity, acquiring finances, and brand-building. Here is a list of the startups that Ratan Tata has funded over the years. Consequently, the behemoth organization of Ratan tata – Tata Group has also infiltrated a number of markets such as telecom, software, groceries, and fashion.
Ratan Tata-backed BlueStone valuation tops $410 mn in latest round.
· Tork Motors
· Repos Energy
The Recent investment by Ratan Tata was in 2021, as he invested in Mailit, a technology-driven mailroom management and logistics company. The terms of the investment are undisclosed but it comes at a time when Mailit is planning to launch 500 mailrooms across India in addition to establishing fully mechanised warehouses and distribution centres in the next five years.
Tork Motors is a Pune-based electric motorcycle startup. Ratan Tata invested an undisclosed amount in Tork Motors in October 2019. He saw potential in the company and found the team to be commendable. Apart from Ratan Tata, Bharat Forge and Bhavish Aggarwal (Ola Cabs’ founder) have also invested in Tork Motors.
Snapdeal is India’s first online marketplace for multiple categories. It has received funding from Ebay and Alibaba. Snapdeal was launched by Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal in February 2010. It has over 3 lakh sellers and hosts over 3 crore products across 800+ diverse categories from more than 1,25,000 regional, national, and international brands and retailers.
Ratan Tata made an investment in Snapdeal soon after Flipkart’s acquisition of Myntra. He bought 256 shares from the e-commerce venture’s angel investors. This move not only protected Snapdeal from losing market share but also prevented any potential attempt by Flipkart to monopolize the e-commerce segment.
Cure.fit is a health and fitness startup that has raised $170 million from investors like Accel Partners, Kalaari Capital, Chiratae Ventures, and Ratan Tata to date.
Cure.fit maintains a chain of fitness centers (under the ‘Cult.fit’ brand), a food delivery platform called ‘Eat.fit’, a chain of healthcare clinics called ‘Care.fit’, and the recently launched online mental-wellness platform called ‘Mind.fit’.
Paytm started out as a mobile recharging platform and later became an online marketplace for multiple categories. It became India’s first payment bank after receiving a license from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Ratan Tata Made an investment in Paytm by raising a funding of INR 1 crore in March 2015 for One97 Communications – the parent company of Paytm. This funding fetched him the position of a business advisor on One97 Communications’ board.
Paytm is now among the most successful digital payment companies with millions of subscribers. It thrived when the demonetization scheme was implemented in India in November 2018. At present, the company’s gross merchandise value (GMV) is over $1 billion.
Ola is India’s first home-grown cab aggregator service and one of the nine Indian unicorn startups valued at $5 billion. The app allows users to book a taxi on their smartphone at the best fares. Ola provides cab services across price segments that range from economy to luxury.
Ratan Tata funded Ola in July 2015, 5 years after the company began its operations in 2010. He invested INR 95 lakhs in the company in personal capacity. Ratan Tata made also an investment through his investment company – RNT Capital Advisors – of INR 400 crores in Ola.
Aditi Bhosale Walunj and Chetan Walunj founded Repos Energy. Repos Energy is a Pune-based startup responsible for the doorstep delivery of fuel to industries. It works using cloud-based technology and IoT devices. Customers can order diesel on the Repos app. A Repos petrol pump operator then arrives at the customer’s location and completes the diesel delivery. Ratan Tata made an undisclosed amount of investment in this startup.
ClimaCell is an app developed by Rei Goffer, Shimon Elkabetz, and Itai Zlotnik that provides accurate weather forecast to alert people about upcoming floods. It uses day-to-day devices as environmental sensors. ClimaCell focuses on error-free weather predictions and has garnered a lot of attention.
Ratan Tata participated in ClimaCell’s seed round funding in September 2016. ClimaCell has acquired $70 million over three rounds of funding.
Ratan Tata has also made an investment in a Silicon Valley based bitcoin startup with American Express where he with American Express invested $12 million in Abra. People can store digital cash and send money to any smartphone using Abra’s app. Abra earns money when users buy or sell digital currency through its app.
CarDekho is India’s leading car search venture that helps users purchase the right cars. Ratan Tata invested an undisclosed amount in GirnarSoft – the parent company of CarDekho, BikeDekho, and PriceDekho portals.
The CarDekho app has rich automotive content that includes expert reviews, detailed specs and prices, comparisons, and the visuals of the different car brands and models available in India.
The company deals with many automobile manufacturers, more than 4000 car dealers, and numerous financial institutions to facilitate the purchase of vehicles. The CarDekho portal accounts for about 30% of the automobile manufacturers’ combined annual sales today.
Holachef was founded by Saxena and Anil Gelra in 2014. Holachef connects expert chefs with consumers via its website and mobile app (available for both Android and iOS platforms). The platform offers a new menu everyday and delivers food in a state-of-the-art packaging. Holachef received an undisclosed amount of investment from Ratan Tata in September 2015.
Ola-owned food delivery firm Foodpanda has acquired Holachef.
FirstCry is a baby care e-commerce platform. FirstCry is owned by BrainBees Solutions. It follows an omni-channel strategy of selling through online and offline stores. Ratan Tata invested an undisclosed amount in this startup in January 2016.
Lenskart is a popular online retailer for eyewear. It was also been added to the list of companies invested by Tata as it secured funding from Ratan Tata in April 2016; the amount is undisclosed.
Lenskart sells sunglasses, eye glasses, contact lenses, and more. The officials from Lenskart said that Ratan Tata’s role was more of a mentor and an advisor than a financial investor. Some of the investors in Lenskart are TPG Group, IDG Ventures India, and Unilazer Ventures founder Ronnie Screwvala.
Former Tata Sons chairman Ratan N Tata has invested in over 30 startups. Among these, there are several technology-based startups too. Tata has made all these investments in his personal capacity..