Islamic finance to power Kerala startups

Cheraman Financial Services Ltd, jointly promoted by the Kerala government and non-resident Keralites, is to fund hundreds of cash-strapped student startups coming up in Kerala state, India. The Islamic financial institution has set aside Rs150mn for companies in the Startup Village, Kerala’s answer to Silicon Valley, from its Rs2.5bn Alternative Investment Fund that primarily targets the Shariah-compliant service and manufacturing sectors. There are more than 900 firms with innovative products started by students waiting to set up their units. At least one company of students with innovative ideas is being set up each day at the Startup Village. The Village aims to host 3,000 startups by 2020. Coming up on the same campus in this port city is the Kerala Technology Innovation Centre, another zone exclusively for bio-technology.