Exploring The World Of Alternative Investment Funds: A Diversification Opportunity

Published on
Jun 29, 2023
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    Alternative Investment Funds

    Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs) provide investors with the opportunity to diversify their portfolios by investing in a range of alternative asset classes that are not normally available through traditional investments. These asset classes such as hedge funds, real estate funds, angel funds, fund of funds, etc. can provide investors with higher returns than traditional investments, but they also come with higher risks. 

    AIFs do not include funds covered under the SEBI (Mutual Funds) Regulations, 1996, SEBI (Collective Investment Schemes) Regulations, 1999, or any other regulations of the Board to regulate fund management activities.

    In this blog, we will delve into the concept of AIFs, their benefits, and key considerations for investors looking to explore this exciting avenue.

    Types Of Alternative Investment Funds

    As per the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Alternative Investment Funds) Regulations, 2012 there are three categories of AIFs - I, II, and III. The same with some examples are as under:

    Category I AIFs

    These include funds that invest in startups, early-stage ventures, social ventures, or other sectors or areas as specified by the regulatory authorities. These funds have a positive spill-over effect on the economy, promoting innovation and job creation.

    • Angel Funds are investment vehicles that pool capital from individual investors and use it to make early-stage investments in startups and small businesses. These funds provide financial support and mentorship to entrepreneurs in exchange for equity or ownership in the company.
    • Venture Capital Funds are investment vehicles that provide financing to early-stage and high-growth companies with the potential for significant returns. These funds invest in startups and emerging businesses in exchange for equity ownership, aiming to support their growth and development.
    • Infrastructure Funds are investment vehicles that focus on financing and investing in public infrastructure projects, such as transportation systems, utilities, ports, and social infrastructure. These funds aim to generate returns by investing in long-term, revenue-generating infrastructure assets that provide essential services to the public.
    • Social Venture Funds are investment vehicles that invest in businesses or projects with a focus on generating both financial returns and positive social or environmental impact.

    Category II AIFs

    Under this category, the following are included:

    a. Those not under Category I and III

    b. Which do not undertake leverage or borrowing other than to meet day-to-day operational requirements

    c. Funds invested in equity securities and debt securities

    • Real Estate Funds are investment vehicles that pool capital from multiple investors to invest in a diversified portfolio of real estate properties or real estate-related assets, aiming to generate returns through rental income and capital appreciation.
    • Fund of Funds invests in other AIFs. They hold an investment portfolio of other AIFs rather than investing directly in stocks, bonds, or other securities.
    • A debt Fund is an AIF that invests in debt or debt securities of listed or unlisted companies as per the stated objectives of the Fund. As per SEBI guidelines, the amount contributed by the investors cannot be used for giving loans.
    • Private Equity Funds are investment vehicles that pool capital from investors to invest in privately held companies.

    Category III AIFs

    This category constitutes of funds that employ diverse investment strategies and instruments, such as short selling, options, futures, swaps, or other complex financial instruments

    • Hedge Funds are privately managed investment funds that employ various strategies to generate returns, often targeting positive performance regardless of market conditions. Hedge funds offer flexibility and the potential for uncorrelated returns compared to traditional investments but are expensive because of their 2/20 standard fee structure comprising of Management Fees of 2% and Performance Fees of 20%.
    • Private Investment In Public Equity Funds (PIPE) is an investment vehicle that invests in publicly traded companies, typically through private placements, to provide capital for various purposes. 

    Benefits Of Alternative Investment Funds

    1. Diversification: AIFs offer diversification benefits by providing exposure to non-correlated asset classes. This diversification helps reduce the risk of an investment portfolio, as returns from alternative assets may not move in tandem with traditional markets. 
    2. Higher Potential Returns: Alternative asset classes often have the potential to deliver higher returns compared to traditional investments. Investments in private equity or venture capital, for instance, can yield significant gains over the long term. 
    3. Access to Exclusive Opportunities: AIFs provide access to investment opportunities that are typically unavailable to individual investors. These may include early-stage startups, real estate developments, or infrastructure projects.
    4. Risk Management: AIFs often employ various risk management strategies, such as hedging techniques or short selling, to mitigate downside risk and protect investors' capital.
    5. Low Volatility: Since AIFs have no direct relation with stock markets, they have less volatility compared to traditional equity investments. As a result, these funds can be an ideal choice for risk-averse investors seeking stability in their investment portfolios.

    Factors To Consider Before Investing In An AIF

    1. Risk Tolerance: AIFs can carry higher risks than traditional investments, and investors should assess their risk tolerance before allocating capital to these funds. Also, review the management fees and performance fee structures associated with it
    2. Due Diligence: Research the fund manager's track record, investment strategy, and performance history before investing. It is essential to understand the fund's investment objectives and whether they align with your investment goals. 
    3. Liquidity and Lock-In Periods: AIFs often have longer lock-in periods compared to traditional investments. Consider your investment horizon and liquidity needs before committing to these funds.
    4. Regulatory Framework: Familiarize yourself with the regulatory environment surrounding AIFs in your jurisdiction to ensure compliance and understand the investor protection measures in place.

    How To Find The Right AIF For You?

    Investing in alternative investments can be a great way to diversify your portfolio and generate higher returns but it can be difficult to find the right alternative investment fund for you. There are many different types of funds available, and each one has its own unique risks and rewards. To ensure that you make the best decision for your financial goals, it is important to conduct thorough research and due diligence on any potential fund you are considering investing in. There are a variety of hedge fund research tools and databases available to help investors with their due diligence process.


    Alternative investment funds offer investors a gateway to diversify their portfolios, explore new asset classes, and achieve attractive risk-adjusted returns. However, investing in AIFs requires careful evaluation of risk tolerance, due diligence on fund managers and investment strategies, and a thorough understanding of the regulatory landscape. By understanding the risks and potential benefits of AIFs, investors can make informed decisions and seize the opportunities presented by this alternative investment avenue.

    Alternative Investment Funds require large capital generally starting from INR 1 crore and are not within the reach of Retail Investors. If you do not have such large capital, Don’t Worry….at Grip, we have curated SEBI-compliant alternative investment opportunities starting at just INR 1 Lakh. Start investing now by signing up on Grip.

    Want to stay at the top of your finances? Don’t forget to sign up!

    Join the community of 2.5 lakh + investors and learn more about Grip, the latest financial knick-knacks and shenanigans that take place in the world of investing.

    Happy Investing!

    Disclaimer: This communication does not constitute advice relating to investing or otherwise dealing in securities and is not an offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any securities. Grip Invest Technologies Private Limited ("Grip", formerly known as Grip Invest Advisors Private Limited) is not registered with SEBI in any capacity and does not advise, encourage, or discourage its users to invest or not invest in any securities. Grip is solely an execution-only platform and does not guarantee or assure any return on investments made by you in any opportunities sourced by Grip and accepts no liability for consequences of any actions taken based on the information provided. Your investment is solely based on your judgement. Investments in debt securities are subject to risks. Read all the offer-related documents carefully.

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