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Birla, Navi MF plan funds for metaverse

MUMBAI: Two fund houses, sector major Aditya Birla Mutual Fund and newcomer Navi MF, have filed papers with Sebi separately to launch schemes that will invest in companies in the metaverse space. These would include ones in the blockchain ecosystem and virtual digital space. Currently, these are two of the most happening segments within the technology space and several of the top minds are betting on these segments to make big money.
Metaverse is the virtual world of social connections which runs on widely acceptable codes rather than centralised rules. Interestingly, the papers to launch two funds by two different fund houses with very different pedigrees were filed with the regulator on the same day. Birla MF is a 28-year-old fund house that is part of Aditya Birla Group, one of the oldest business conglomerates in India.
Navi MF, on the other hand, is just about a year old in its current form and is backed by Sachin Bansal, the co-founder of online retail major Flipkart. Originally formed as Essel MF, the fund was bought over by Bansal’s outfit and rechristened.
According to the papers filed with Sebi by Birla MF, this fund’s aim is to “provide long-term capital appreciation by investing in the units of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that are focussed on the global blockchain theme (including virtual digital assets)”. Blockchain is the technology that is at the core of cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens. Lately, this database technology, originally aimed at powering the virtual world, is finding usage in the real world too, including areas like lending, cross-border payments, provenance for works of fine arts and land records.
The papers filed by Navi MF say that its main objective is “to provide long-term capital appreciation by investing in units of overseas ETFs and/or index funds that invest in the companies engaged in developing and companies that stand to benefit from the advancement of metaverse”. Once Sebi goes through the papers and gives its nod, the fund houses will be able to launch these schemes, offering Indian investors to invest in companies in this emerging technology space.

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