Amazon's India affiliate Samara Capital to raise $500m to invest across sectors

Mumbai company to invest in businesses ranging from retail and health care to technology and finance

FILE PHOTO: People move past a hoarding of Amazon India outside a metro rail station in New Delhi, India, October 23, 2019. REUTERS/Anushree Fadnavis/File Photo

Samara Capital, an India-focused private equity company and a local partner of Amazon, is planning to raise as much as $500 million for a new fund targeting companies in Asia’s third-biggest economy.

The Mumbai company is planning to invest in businesses ranging from retail and health care to technology and finance, and plans to close the fund in the second half of 2022, said Sumeet Narang, Samara’s founder and managing director.

“We have started the roadshows and many of our existing investors across the US, Europe, Middle East and Asia Pacific have already signed up,” Mr Narang said.

Samara is seeking to step up investments in a consumer market of a billion-plus people. Almost 120 companies, from online grocers to food delivery and beauty start-ups, raised about $18 billion in initial public offerings last year, a record for the country.

Founded in 2007, the company has invested more than $1bn since inception, according to its website. The new fund will consider investing from $50m to as much as $400m in mid-market companies for a controlling stake, Mr Narang said.

Samara and Amazon are partners in Witzig Advisory Services, an investment vehicle that acquired More Retail in 2019 from billionaire Kumar Mangalam Birla’s conglomerate Aditya Birla Group. More Retail is considering an IPO that could raise as much as $500m at a valuation of $5bn, Bloomberg News reported in December.

Deals involving private equity (PE) companies have been rising in India as highly indebted conglomerates look to sell businesses to help pay debt, while succession planning prompts some tycoons to dispose of assets and set up family offices. Easy loans are also helping PEs to finance buy-outs.

Carlyle Group's Asia chairman XD Yang said in November that the US-based PE’s investment amount and pace in India are getting “pretty close” to that in China.

Last year, Samara listed quick-service restaurant operator Sapphire Foods India – a local franchisee for Pizza Hut and KFC.

Updated: February 26, 2022, 4:00 AM