Why Has Premji Invest Divested From Moderna?
Delhi– One of India’s most prominent billionaires and the founder of Wipro, Azim Premji is said to have invested himself in the Moderna Pharma a couple of years ago.
While the fund sold some of its holding, it still has some left. Currently, Moderna is in the race of completing its Stage II and Stage III clinical trials towards presenting the best efficacious Covid-19 vaccine. Pfizer and Moderna have been the preferred ones to have done mass production of a vaccine with an 80percent and above efficacy rate.
His investment seemed to have been a wise move that has benefitted humanity in obvious ways. This was one of his many philanthropic moves that he has made in the past. But it might not carry on now. One can probably understand that owing to the fact that India itself is developing its own vaccine, the time to retract from the funding would makes sense. Also, Moderna has not been forthcoming in sharing its formula and technology with the underdeveloped and needing nations, another reason why a sensible businessman like Premji would like to steer clear off further investments with Moderna.
A part investment amounting to $25-$30 million was done a few years ago, through his PremjiInvest, a private investment arm of Premji that manages billions of dollars in assets and is among the biggest family offices in India.
The investment was made in 2016 under the fund that was formed the same year. The funding arm was made in order to segregate Mr. Premji’s philanthropic spends and his core IT business Wipro. However, he merged his investment arm with the Foundation in 2018, in a move that then signaled more funding for philanthropy.
Speaking over the retracement and refunding purposes, a company spokesperson has said, “More money won’t go into Moderna. The fund is now evaluating opportunities in China and Israel. What attracted the team to Moderna was the work it did on Zika and Nipah, building out a vaccine platform. The fact that MIT’s noted professor and inventor Robert Langer was an early investor was also a big factor.”
Another reliable source has said that, “Premji Invest has been consciously looking at firms that work in the area of low-cost immunity, care and delivery. It has invested in 5 such firms in the US. They have a full-fledged team looking at this area. The investment in Moderna was done by their Boston team, which has a lot of technical expertise in this area.”