NR Narayana Murthy, co-founder of IT giant Infosys Ltd is gearing up to set foot into the e-commerce business in India in collaboration with global giant Amazon. The joint venture will be carried out through Murthy's investment firm Catamaran Ventures, which will 51 percent stake in the business.
"Catamaran is partnering with Amazon Asia to offer services that help offline seller and SMBs in India to get online and to take advantage of the fast-growing online customer base in the country," Arjun Ramegowda Narayanswamy, who heads Catamaran Ventures told the Economic Times. "NRN does not have a board role at any of our investments."
"Catamaran Ventures's partnership with Amazon Asia will target small and medium-sized firms Narayanswamy, added in an email to Reuters on Friday.
Murthy, the Indian IT industrialist, set up Catamaran Management Services Pvt Ltd, a venture capital fund in 2010. It made its debut investment in SKS Microfinance at 1.3 percent stake for ₹ 28.1 crore and later invested ₹ 200crore in Manipal Universal. However, the deal was called off after sometime.
The VC firm has been known to invest in diverse sectors such as energy drink, healthcare and e-commerce. Bigshoebaazar India, Yebhi.com, Healthspring, Kaizen Private Equity LLC, Hector Beverages Pvt. Ltd., Ace Creative Learning Pvt Ltd., NRB Bearings Ltd. are a few firms which boast of investments from the firm.
Catamaran and Accel Partners, a venture firm, together invested ₹ 5crore in Bangalore-based Ace Creative Learning Pvt Ltd. in 2010, which provides education support services to schools and colleges. A similar amount was invested in NRB Bearings as well for 1.39 percent stake.
In 2011, Catamaran along with Bangalore-based FootPrint Ventures invested ₹6 crore in Gurgaon-based Hector Beverages Pvt. Ltd., which is a rival of Red Bull. Murthy's venture firm bought Bigshoebazaar, an online wholesaler and retailer of shoes, bags, accessories and gift items, at 13 percent stake for ₹26 crore in the same year.
Catamaran, Ace Creative and Accel Partners also invested in Kaizen Private Equity LLC, India's first educational focused PE fund, in 2012.
Murthy who took Infosys into one of India's top outsourcing service companies, stepped down as executive chairman earlier this month