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Edelweiss rides India’s unicorn wave

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The firm’s wealth management arm positioned itself early for a possible spurt in unicorns in India and the opportunities that may bring. It is now reaping the rewards.

India’s surge in startups has caught plenty of people on the hop. Technology experts are now in such demand in this fast-growing e-commerce market that many finance firms have scrambled to hire much-needed talent over the past year.

At wealth manager Edelweiss Private Wealth, senior management can’t help wondering what took the competition so long.

“It is interesting to see how people are suddenly having a big FOMO [fear of missing out] moment,” says Alok Saigal, president and head of Edelweiss Private Wealth.

Neither the explosion of tech unicorns – firms defined as valued at over $1 billion – in Asia’s third-biggest economy nor the resulting funding bonanza surprises Saigal’s team. In recent years, Edelweiss built a well-deserved reputation for both sensing which startups had potential and offering advantageously priced entry points to their high net-worth clients.

The ecosystem in India has become very, very robust for startups
Alok Saigal, Edelweiss Private Wealth

In 2017, for example, Edelweiss rolled out the first of its Crossover Opportunities funds. These are alternative investment vehicles that focus on pre-initial public offering and growth-stage startup companies.

A second Crossover fund followed in 2018, and in May 2021, Edelweiss announced plans to raise another $1 billion for the same series of funds.


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William Pesek is a freelance contributor for Asiamoney, based in Tokyo.
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