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oaks asset management funding: Private equity fund OAKS Asset Management raises Rs 1,000 crore in funding

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Consumer sector-focused mid-market private equity fund OAKS Asset Management has raised Rs 1,000 crore towards the first close of its second fund. The firm has mopped up more than anticipated capital owing to heightened investor demand and with existing investors topping up with larger cheques, senior fund managers told ET in an exclusive chat.

The final close of the new fund is expected by the end of next month. Last year, the firm had launched its second private equity fund to invest in consumer startups and mid-size companies in India.

“Investors are increasingly appreciative of the power of high-quality profitable businesses with sustainable cash flows versus cash-burn oriented businesses that require serial capital raises. Record low fixed income yields and volatility of real estate as an asset class are further motivating investors to move in this direction. This is resulting in increased allocations from existing investors and sign-ups from several new investors,” said Kenneth Serrao, founder and CIO, OAKS Asset Management.

“The capital has come from Indian family offices and UHNIs. While our existing investors have come back with larger cheques, a lot of new investors are referrals from the existing ones,” added Vishal Ootam, founder and CEO, OAKS Asset Management.

Ootam, Serrao, Vivek Anand PS, and Sandeep Somani launched OAKS Asset Management in 2015. They raised their first Rs 700 crore fund in 2017, which was deployed across five companies—banqueting and catering company Foodlinks, Incred, CredAble, Hero Electric and Shree, a women’s ethnic wear maker.

While Hero Electric and CredAble are in talks to raise a larger round, two other portfolio firms have got follow-on funding at a mark up in valuations, Ootam added. From the new fund, the firm has already invested in direct-to-consumer (D2C) food brand Troo Good.

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“Four out of the five businesses have been marked up and two of the five businesses are expected to list through an IPO in the next 18 to 24 months,” Ootam said.

The company will look to back 10-12 founders demonstrating meaningful revenues and growth in large target markets in a capital-efficient manner from the new fund.

“In sharp contrast to the otherwise sombre commentary that one might hear about the investment climate around, we have witnessed some of the most exciting times in our journey over the past 12-18 months,” said Vivek Anand PS, co-founder and managing director, OAKS Asset Management.

The fund believes that as a market, India continues to offer multiple yet simple penetration and growth opportunities.

The fundraising comes at a time when there is a fear of a larger slowdown in dealmaking. With most marquee global funds sending a note of caution to their founders over liquidity crunch, India focused and rupee funds have been gaining traction amongst investors. Funds such as Matrix,

, Sequoia Capital, and Lightspeed have raised or are in the process of raising larger funds for the Indian market.

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