India’s ICICI Venture invests in healthcare

India’s ICICI Venture has made a minority investment in an Indian diagnostic centre chain Metropolis Health Services India, an acquisitive firm looking to expand overseas.

Bangalore- and Mumbai-based venture capital firm ICICI Venture has invested 350 million Indian rupees ($8 million; €6 million) in local diagnostics chain operator Metropolis Health Services India.
Founded in 1981, Metropolis has 17 laboratories and 200 franchisees across India. The company is currently seeking a direct presence in the Middle East, south and southeast Asia and as Africa, according to a statement from ICICI Venture.
Aluri Srinivasa, ICICI Venture’s director of investment, said in the statement: “Our investment in Metropolis is an opportunity to leverage the rapid growth in the healthcare sector and changing dynamics of the path lab industry.”

Metropolis plans to invest Rs 100 crore ($22.3 million) in the next couple of years for overseas expansion, Metropolis managing director GSK Velu was quoted as saying in The Press Trust of India.

Healthcare has proven to be a popular sector class for private equity firms in India of late. In March, the Carlyle Group placed its first bet on an Asian drug maker by investing $20 million to fund the expansion of Claris Lifesciences, an Ahmedabad-headquartered pharmaceutical company.

ICICI Venture, a subsidiary of ICICI Bank, currently has funds under management in excess of $650 million. The firm focuses on the information technology, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, media and retail sectors.