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New US firm, Terra, Plans $2.5 Bn Investment In Indian AI startups

Terra Invest, led by ex-US ambassador to Singapore Kirk Wagar, plans to invest a major part of its $2.5 billion fund into Indian AI startups by 2025.

By Rashaad Ather
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Terra Invest Partners & Founding Members

Terra Invest Partners & Founding Members

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Terra Invest, a new investment firm backed by former US ambassador to Singapore, Kirk Wagar, plans to invest a significant portion of its $2.5 billion fund into Indian AI startups by 2025. So far, the firm has already spent $230 million out of this fund.

The firm operates on a deal-based model and has already completed transactions worth over $230 million. In an interview with Moneycontrol, Wagar stated, "Clearly, there is an opportunity to do well in India…the reason that India is so important is the part that it plays as a proving ground on both the investment and the policy for us to then maybe go to Riyadh or Malaysia." 

Investments in the AI sector have been gaining momentum due to its potential to revolutionize businesses and change our lives. 

Transformed India:

Terra Invest's India strategy extends beyond just financial investments. Wagar added, "It’s incredibly important that any investment firm, and frankly any emerging technology, looks to India as its laboratory, as its partner on the policy front, as well as the investing point." 

Terra Invest, with offices in London and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), specializes in deep policy and regulatory knowledge. 

The fund aims to invest in startups working on AI-based solutions for financial services, healthcare distribution, and clean energy. 

Unlike traditional investment firms with rigid timelines, Terra Invest has a flexible and patient investment approach. 

Wagar emphasized India's regulatory landscape and market opportunities as attractive to global investors. "It was never hard to enter India, but…it used to be very hard to exit. And that’s not the case really anymore," Wagar stated. 

Wagar noted that optionality on exits is one of the reasons why interest in India has increased globally. Terra Invest, backed by prominent Asian family offices and funds, including Mount Row Partners, is led by a group of financial and public policy veterans.

Aside from Wagar, Terra Invest’s founding partners included Ankiti Bose, the former chief executive officer of fashion e-commerce Zilingo.