His investment philosophy is to back local start-ups that tap into India's domestic market in areas outside of Aadhaar-based start-ups, fintech firms and education. He has so far invested in digital publishing house Juggernaut, prepaid mobile bill tracker app Mubble, aerospace startup Team Indus, e-commerce start-up 10i Commerce Services, Systemantics India, which makes industrial robots for the manufacturing sector and Railyatri, a train travel app that helps users take travelling decisions on a real-time basis.
"It is just to encourage entrepreneurs who are thinking, innovating new solutions that are unique to India. Then, I am broadly looking at how technology can be used to make India unorganised to organised," Nilekani said in an interview last year. " I don't invest in education, where i only do philanthropy. Education is the only place where I spend money, where I don't earn money". He, along with his wife Rohini Nilekani, runs EkStep, a not-for-profit initiative that promotes primary education, in which he has committed an amount to the tune of $10 million.
In February 2016, data analytics start-up Tracxn Technologies had raised an undisclosed investment jointly from Nilekani and Mohandas Pai, former board member of Infosys, who is also the co-founder of early investor fund Aarin Capital.
In July, Nilekani had, along with Nexus Venture Partners, invested about Rs 50 crore in Sedemac Mechatronics, a Mumbai-based automotive products company. He was one of the early backers of crowdfunding platform LetsVenture, led by Shanti Mohan and Disha Medical Services, which focuses on providing affordable eye care to underserved markets in Karnataka.
On Tuesday, Coffee Day Enterprises stock closed at Rs 199, up by Rs 2.45 or 1.25 per cent, on the BSE.