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Micromax to invest $400 mn to pick up stake in 20 start-ups

Handset vendor Micromax said it will invest up to USD 400 million this year to pick up stake in at least 20 start-ups across segments like healthcare, entertainment and gaming as part of plans to strengthen its services portfolio.

The Gurgaon-based firm is looking at picking up stake in as many as 20 companies this year across the globe. It has already picked up minority stake in Bengaluru-based health and fitness company ‘HealthifyMe’.

“Going ahead, we will invest in not less than 20 start-ups, where we see synergies. We are looking at building an ecosystem of connected devices and offer customised experience to users,” Micromax co-founder Rahul Sharma said.

He added that these investments will range from USD 0.5-20 million, depending on the size and maturity of the target company.

However, he declined to comment on the financial details of the deal with HealthifyMe.

Sharma also heads Yu, Micromax’s online-only brand focussed on the fast growing segment of tech enthusiasts.

“The world is moving to smart devices and through these strategic investments, we want to ensure that consumers get insights into eating better, getting fitter and fighting lifestyle issues effectively,” he said.

Micromax has an M&A team, headed by Kumar Shah, which actively scouts for startups across countries like US, Europe, Israel and India.

The company is keen to beef up investments in research and development of products and services as well as invest in start-ups to stay competitive against rivals like Samsung and Xiaomi. It is also looking at raising funds for these strategic partnerships.

Micromax closed 2014-15 fiscal with an estimated revenue of Rs 11,000 crore, growing at about 50 per cent.

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