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Clearwater entrepreneur launches $10 million investment fund

Margie Manning

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A healthcare entrepreneur in Clearwater has launched The Indus Equity Partners, an angel fund focused on global companies in growth mode.

Kunal Jain, president and fund manager, said the fund launched three months ago and has raised $2 million of the $10 million being sought. It already has invested in three companies and is doing due diligence on a fourth potential investment.

Kunal Jain

Indus Equity Partners is separate from the $3 million TiE Tampa Bay Angel Fund that Jain also led, but has many of the same investors — generally successful entrepreneurs, many of whom have a background from India, Jain said.

The Tampa-St. Petersburg area, and much of Florida, has attracted lots of physicians with Indian backgrounds because of the size of the Medicare healthcare market, Jain said.

“It makes it easy to start a company here because it’s a large healthcare market,” said Jain, who is co-founder and president of Practice Forces, a Clearwater firm that helps physicians with medical billing and coding.

Indus Equity Partners will split its investments between companies located in the United States, primarily in Florida, and companies located in India. When the full $10 million is deployed, $5 million will be for U.S. firms and $5 million for Indian companies.

Initial investments are:

• $1 million for Molekule, an air purification company headquartered in San Francisco and with strong ties to Tampa. University of South Florida engineering professor Yogi Goswami developed the technology.

• $500,000 for Concept Medical, a medical device company in Tampa backed by healthcare entrepreneur Dr. Kiran Patel. The Food & Drug Administration has granted a “breakthrough device designation” to Concept Medical’s drug-coated balloon catheter to treat peripheral artery disease.

• AgniKul Cosmos, a company in Chennai, India, that designs, builds, tests and launches rockets for small satellites. The Indian government, which has growing space ambitions, also has invested in AgniKul Cosmos, Jain said.

The investments in Indian companies primarily will be in impact funding, in industries such as education and customer service, where the product or service could impact masses, Jain said.

Jain has established an office in India for Indus Equity Partners. He has partnered with Globevestor, a San Mateo, California venture capital firm that operates a hybrid of managed micro-funds and an online platform to invest in startups in the U.S. and in India.

The minimum investment in Indus Equity Partners is $100,000. Jain expects investors to get a two to three times return on investment in five to six years.

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