'Keep minimum holding period for investing flexible'

Kolkata, July 4 (IANS) Opposing the capital market regulator SEBI's new guidelines on a minimum holding period for investing in a firm, angel investors Thursday said the lock in period should remain flexible.

"Lock-in period is not what we are happy with. This should remain flexible because the exit of an angel investor should depend on the requirement of the company concerned," Indian Angel Network (IAN) president Padmaja Ruparel said here.

"There are instances where our investors have exited within 15 months. We will take it up with the SEBI authorities," Ruparel said.

According to a recent SEBI guideline for angel investment, the minimum investment by an angel in a venture has to be Rs.50 lakh with a minimum holding period of three years.

Talking to the media on the occasion of launching IAN's Kolkata operations, Ruparel, however, welcomed the regulator's decision to bring angel funds under Alternative Investment Funds Regulations.

In its new guidelines, issued on June 26, SEBI also stipulated that angel investors should not invest in companies older than three years. It restricted angel investment up to 25 percent of the total required capital in a star- up firm.

Ruparel said IAN has till now funded 50 start-ups across multiple sectors like IT, mobile, internet, healthcare, e-commerce and education, investing a total of $100 million.

"We are eyeing at 80 companies portfolio at the end of this year," she said.

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