Wells Fargo’s former India realty investment team launching residential funds

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Capitedge India Investment Advisory, a realty fund and asset management firm floated by six former members of Indian realty team of American banking giant Wells Fargo, is coming out with a residential properties-focused fund in India.

This would mark its first fresh fundraising exercise after floating an independent investment advisory firm, which is also managing the remaining assets of Wells Fargo after it shut operations in the country last year. While the founding partners are closely associated in operations, Hiral Soni is driving the domestic fundraise and investment strategy, as per the company website.

She was previously with Marvel Realtors and had later also set up a boutique investment banking firm catering to real estate and allied debt and equity syndication to M&A, land transactions, etc.

The proposed fundraising plan was first reported by Mint which said the firm is floating two funds with a total target corpus of up to Rs 300 crore. It added the proposed funds will invest in top five cities through both equity and debt structures.

The report added that it would look at a third domestic fund next year.

Capitedge team is led by Saandip Kundu and comprises Ananda Bhattacharya, Raadha Kundu (Saandip’s wife), Prashanth Shetty, Priyank Gupta and Hiral Soni.

Founder and managing director of Capitedge, Saandip has over 16 years of real estate financing and mortgage experience. At Wells Fargo he was responsible for building the franchise and steering the investments.

Prior to joining Wells Fargo, he has worked with LIC Housing, ICICI Bank (Product Head) and Standard Chartered Bank.

This development comes almost a year after Wells Fargo shut its real estate investment unit in India, as first reported by VCCircle.

Wells Fargo was exposed to Indian realty space through Wachovia which it acquired in 2008. Wachovia entered the Indian market in 2006 and started investing across deals in the realty space. In the aftermath of the financial meltdown in 2008 and Wells Fargo buying out Wachovia, the rechristened firm did not make many moves besides managing the existing assets.

It recently exited an old but rare entity level investment in a public-listed Indian real estate developer by selling its entire holding in Gurgaon-based Vipul Ltd with a huge haircut.

The firm had around half a dozen investments and has exited most of them.

Its other previous investments include a project of Hiranandani Group in Chennai, Wadhwa Group’s project in western suburbs of Oshiwara in Mumbai, Vijay Raheja’s Bangalore-based project Pebble Bay and a project by Vatika Group.

Real estate investment fraternity has seen launch of a bunch of new ventures by former executives of realty PE firms.

Mumbai-based financial services company Centrum Capital has teamed up with the former head of property fund Indiareit, Ramesh Jogani, in his real estate private equity company, India Property Advisors. In another such case, Amit Goenka, who moved out of the real estate private equity arm of Essel Finance a year ago, has set up his own venture called NIFCO and is raising two realty funds with a corpus of Rs 800 crore.

Source: VC Circle

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