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Bertelsmann makes multi-million dollar investment in Digital Nirvana Fund

MUMBAI: German multinational mass media corporation Bertelsmann is making a multi-million dollar investment in Indian digital fund Digital Nirvana Fund.

The fund invests specifically in young start-ups from the digital domain and is led by the Indian venture capital company Nirvana Venture Advisors, which manages two funds with a total endowment of $40.5 million.

Bertelsmann EVP of emerging markets Shobhna Mohn said, “Expanding our business in India is an important part of Bertelsmann’s growth strategy. We now have holdings, with three partners, in renowned funds in India that focus on the digital or education sectors, which are important to our strategy. We are also and simultaneously investing directly in selected companies that are of strategic relevance for us.”

Bertelsmann India Investments managing director Pankaj Makkar added, “The digital markets in India are growing rapidly so we see great potential for us here. Our partnership with Digital Nirvana Fund helps strengthen our position in this space as it gives us early-stage access to promising business models and the best entrepreneurs in the country.”

Nirvana Venture Advisors co-founder and managing director Rajan Mehra said, “Bertelsmann is one of the most prestigious media companies in the world and pursues the same goals as we do in India—to shape the digital markets and support the country’s fast-growing companies—so we are very pleased to be working with them.”

Besides its investments in various funds, Bertelsmann now has direct holdings in three companies in India—e-commerce platform Pepperfry, real-estate portal Indiaproperty, and Authorgen Technologies with its online education platform Wiziq.com.

In addition, Bertelsmann has successfully done business in India for many years via its division Fremantle Media, the production unit of the RTL Group, which produces shows like ‘Indian Idol’, ‘The X Factor’ and ‘Got Talent’ in India.

The book-publishing subsidiary Penguin Random House India is the country’s largest English-language trade book publisher, and Gruner + Jahr is a leading corporate publisher. Arvato India has been active in customer and marketing services and in e-commerce since 2003. Bertelsmann currently employs approximately 2,000 people in India.