One of India's oldest billionaires is a serial investor in startups

  • His latest investment is into Tork Motors — an electric vehicle startup.
  • Before this, Tata invested in taxi aggregators, e-vehicle makers to jewellery lines.
  • And, he has made good bets too, as the valuations of all the startups he backed, have zoomed.
After heading the $100 billion Tata Group — India’s largest conglomerate — for 24 years, Ratan Tata has turned a serial investor. The 81 year old invested his private wealth in 30 startups, and is constantly adding to the list.

His latest investment is into Tork Motors — an electric vehicle startup. Tork Motors will introduce its flagship motorcycle, T6X in the coming months.

Tata is among the world’s most influential industrialists. He set up a RNT Associate in 2009, three years before retiring from Tata Sons.

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Since then, Tata invested in taxi aggregators, e-vehicle makers to jewellery lines. And, he has made good bets too, as the valuations of all the startups he backed, have zoomed.

"The thing that I am intrigued by first is a start-up that has an interesting concept which excites me. If it doesn’t excite me, I really don’t need to make an investment in that company," said Tata.

Being associated with the Tata name also brought the much-needed endorsement for other investors into these ventures. "His involvement is really inspiring when it comes to existing employees and even attracting top talent,” says Nidhi Agarwal, founder of startup Kaaryah who also managed to bring Tata on-board, as an advisor.

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Here are some of the startups he invested in:

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​Ola Electric Vehicle

​Ola Electric Vehicle

Ratan Tata invested an undisclosed amount in domestic ride-sharing company Ola's newly-launched electric vehicle (EV) arm Ola Electric Mobility (OEMPL) as part of its Series A round of funding. Tata was also an early investor in Ola's parent company ANI Technologie.

Ola is aims to launch 10,000 electric vehicles in India by the end of March 2020.

​Clima Cell

​Clima Cell

Clima Cell is a startup that aims to predict accurate weather conditions. It raised $70 million so far. Ratan Tata backed the startup in 2016 by participating in the seed round. The startup has placed big bets to predict when floods will hit India next.

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​Paytm

​Paytm

In 2015, Tata bought a small stake in One97 Communication — the company that owns and manages Paytm. He also took the role of an advisor. Paytm is in talks with SoftBank Group, Ant Financial for a $2 billion investment deal.

​Snapdeal

​Snapdeal

Snapdeal, an Indian e-commerce based in New Delhi, was the first e-commerce backed by Ratan Tata in 2014. Tata reportedly holds 0.17% stake in the startup.

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​Urban Clap

​Urban Clap

Tata invested an undisclosed amount in UrbanClap, that provides 80+ services at home. The company was founded in the same year by Abhiraj Bhal, Varun Khaitan, and Raghav Chandra and had raised $50 in a series of funding led by Steadview Capital in 2018.

​CarDekho

​CarDekho

Ratan Tata also invested in Girnar Software, the company which manages CarDekho. The startup recently raised $20 million in series C round led by Cayman Islands-based SC GG India Mobility Holdings.

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​Cure.fit

​Cure.fit

Indian health startup, Cure.fit, raised $170 million from investors including Ratan Tata, Accel Partners and Chiratae Ventures. Curefit was founded in 2016 by Myntra co-founder Mukesh Bansal and former Flipkart chief business officer, Ankit Nagori.

The start up has 4 lakh registered users, and 180 centres across Bengaluru, Delhi NCR, Mumbai and Hyderabad. All these provide an annual revenue of $100 million. The company now plans to grow to 800 centres by 2020.