India's Multiples Alternate announces $640 million first close of private equity fund

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(Reuters) - Indian private equity firm Multiples Alternate Asset Management on Wednesday announced the first close of a $640 million fund aimed at investing in domestic companies.

A first close allows a fund to start investing in companies while raising capital for its own fund.

The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), along with financial institutions including the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and State Bank of India (SBI), are the anchor investors in this fund, the asset manger said in a statement.

Founded in 2009, Multiples has an investment portfolio marked by companies like Delhivery, PVR Cinemas and Dream 11. The Mumbai-based firm manages around $3 billion in assets across 29 companies in three funds, per its website.

The closure comes as India's startup companies grapple with a funding shortfall and a turbulent stock market leading to layoffs and delayed stock listings. Inflated valuations and slower consumption growth are keeping off investors from the once-booming startup sector.

Startups in India barely raised $2 billion in the first quarter of this year, 75% lower than a year earlier, and the smallest quarterly amount in nearly three years, data firm CB Insights showed.

(This story has been refiled to say 'first close' in headline and paragraph 1 and add an explanatory line in paragraph 2)

(Reporting by Rishabh Jaiswal in Bengaluru; Editing by Dhanya Ann Thoppil)