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Temasek’s InnoVen Capital begins search for new CEO

LiveMint logoLiveMint 31-07-2017 Yuvraj Malik

New Delhi: Temasek’s venture debt arm InnoVen Capital has begun the search for a new chief executive officer to replace Ajay Hattangdi who will step down on Tuesday along with deputy CEO Vinod Murali.

The firm has elevated Chin Chao, CEO of InnoVen Singapore and Southeast Asia, as interim CEO of the firm that has offices in Mumbai, Singapore and Beijing.

Chin Chao has more than 15 years of experience in the venture capital, InnoVen Capital said Monday. He currently leads InnoVen’s seven-member team in Singapore.

“We note that Ajay Hattangdi and Vinod Murali have resigned from Innoven Capital,” a Temasek spokesperson said in an emailed response to Mint’s queries. “As an investor, we remain committed to supporting the company and intend to work closely with the board to ensure that business continues as usual while the positions are suitably filled in due course.”

InnoVen provides venture debt financing to start-ups, having already supported over 100 start-ups in India and Southeast Asia with over $225 million. Its portfolio includes Oyo Rooms, Swiggy, Byju’s, Nestaway, Pepperfry, Shopclues, Myntra, Freecharge, Practo, Capillary Technologies and Shaadi.com.

The firm had its beginnings as SVB India Finance in Mumbai. In April 2015, it executed a management buy-out bringing in Temasek and United Overseas Bank as investors. Temasek Holdings Pte Ltd, the investment arm of Singapore government, invested Rs300 crore in the entity, which was renamed InnoVen Capital.

While the company did not comment on the exit of Hattangdi and Murali, who founded SVB India Finance in 2008, The Economic Times reported in a 19 July report that the move was due to a fallout between the management (that wanted to raise external funds) and investors, particularly Temasek (that wanted InnoVen to be a captive fund).

“We have a strong and dedicated team on the ground in India, and are currently making good progress in identifying a new CEO to lead the company. Together with the team, Chin Chao will ensure that all our clients and partners remain well supported, and that start-ups looking to grow their business will have access to the strategic support and funding they require,” Shantanu Mitra, chairman of InnoVen said in a statement.

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