Ratan Tata funds 20th start-up with investment in DogSpot.in

Ratan Tata, chairman emeritus of diversified conglomerate Tata Sons Ltd, has invested an undisclosed amount in pet-care portal DogSpot.in, his 20th investment in a start-up after Tata stepped down as chairman of the group.

Ratan Tata's New Year investment comes after an eventful year for the country's start-up funding in 2015.

While the quantum of investment was not made public, Ratan Tata has emerged as one of the top individual investors in new ventures.

DogSpot is an online pet-care shop started in 2014 by Rana Atheya, an electronics engineer from MJP Rohilkhand University and an MBA from Coventry University, UK.

The venture has also received investments from Ronnie Screwvala, who led the previous round along with India Quotient and K Ganesh.

DogSpot.in proposes to use funds raised to offer a new range of products.

The global pet-care market topped $100-billion in 2014, with the US alone accounting for about $58 billion. With over four million pet dogs, the Indian pet-care market is pegged at over $1.22 billion, and growing at over 35 per cent annually.

''Indian pet-care sector is going through a phase of huge growth and transformation. DogSpot.in is poised to become an agent of this transformation,'' Rana Atheya, CEO, DogSpot.in, said.

Ratan Tata had earlier picked up minority stakes in early-stage start-ups and Indian Unicorns like Ola, Snapdeal and Paytm. He has also invested in a couple of foreign start-ups, including US-based Altaeros Energy and Singapore-based analytics firm Crayon Data.

Venture capital investments in the country crossed a new milestone in 2015 with a record 473 deals worth about $5.4 billion registered during the year against 307 worth about $2.3 billion in 2014, according to a report by financial research firm VCCEdge.