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Startup Street: Cyrus Mistry Wants To Nurture Startups

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This week on Startup Street we have Cyrus Mistry returning to the corporate world with a venture capital firm. A stock market research startup is using tech to help its clients figure out tailor-made portfolios. And former NBA legend Michael Jordan backed an e-sports startup. Here’s what went on.

There's A New Venture Capitalist In Town

It's been nearly two years since Cyrus Mistry, managing director of Shapoorji Pallonji Group, was ousted as the chairman of one of India's largest conglomerates, Tata Sons, after a little over four years at the helm.

What ensued was a storm of letters, media frenzy and court cases.

But Mistry is now returning to the corporate world as a venture capitalist. The business veteran announced his latest firm, Mistry Ventures LLP, that's looking to fund and guide startups around the world.

It will provide "strategic insights and advice to businesses, incubate new ventures and provide seed, early stage and growth capital to startups in India and globally", the company said in a statement, according to the newswire PTI.

The firm will be jointly promoted by Mistry's brother, Shapoor, who's a 50 percent stakeholder in it. Mistry Ventures will bring in Ashish Iyer, senior partner and previously global leader of strategy practice at the Boston Consulting Group, to head the firm, according to the statement.

"The intent to deliver profit with positive social impact will be embedded in each of the ventures we promote or partner with,” the statement said.

The size of the capital fund, however, hasn't been announced yet.

These Algorithms Want To Build You A Custom Portfolio

Two-year old startup Research & Ranking is deploying more than 300 algorithms in a bid to build its users a customised portfolio.

The technology assesses the unique goals along with the users finances, risk appetite and other specifics, its founder, Manish Goel, told BloombergQuint. “But that’s not all. The dashboard allows you to get access to real-time review of portfolio holdings including stock specific alerts on company news, events, board announcements, quarterly reviews and portfolio balancing of weights and changes in recommendations,” he said.

India has seen a rise in housing saving an investment over the last two years, specifically in mutual funds after demonetisation. However, investment into direct equity has also increased, partly because of the underperformance of traditional investments, Goel said. “The firm targets these direct equity investors who are looking for long-term wealth creation.”

India’s equity market, which broke multiple records over the first few months of the year, has fallen sharply over the last month, sparked by a debt crisis in the insolvent infrastructure lender IL&FS group. Companies, including trusted large caps, have fallen around 30 percent and more in stock value.

“If you ask me, the market sell-off seen post-IL&FS crisis and the negative sentiments may give jitters to any investor, be it ours as well,” Goel said. However, he described the market sell-off only as a “hiccup” in long-term wealth creation.

“With the tailwinds such as strong GDP data, revival in corporate earnings, reducing inflation levels and consumption-led growth, I strongly believe that India’s structural growth story has just started to play out.”

Michael Jordan’s First Investment In A Sports Startup

Michael Jordan, former National Basketball Association (NBA) player. (Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

Basketball legend Michael Jordan has made entry into the sports startup ecosystem by investing into an e-sports startup called AXiomatic Gaming.

The startup owns Team Liquid—a multi-regional professional e-sports organisation based in the Netherlands that was founded in 2000 and is now the third most valuable e-sports franchise. Team Liquids was recently valued at $200 million, according to a report by Forbes.

Jordan has invested $26 million into the parent company, along with Declaration Capital, Bloomberg reported.

E-sports is expected to create about $960 million this tear, the report said citing information from research firm Newzoo. While this is Jordan’s first investment in a sport startup, he has previously backed hiring startup Gigster and headphone maker Muzik.

Also Read: India Has More Unicorns This Year Than U.K. And Germany Combined

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