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Introduction to AIFs

Alternative Investment Funds, or AIFs, have emerged as a significant player in India’s investment landscape. As of 2022, the total assets under management (AUM) for AIFs in India surpassed INR 2.5 trillion, marking a growth of over 25% from the previous year.

What are Alternative Investments?

Alternative Investments encompass a range of assets outside the traditional realm of stocks, bonds, or cash. These include:

  • Real Estate: The Indian real estate sector, valued at $120 billion in 2020, is projected to reach $1 trillion by 2030, offering immense investment opportunities.
  • Private Equity: In 2022 alone, private equity investments in India crossed $40 billion, a 15% increase from the previous year.
  • Commodities: India is among the top 5 producers of commodities like steel, aluminium, and coal, making it a lucrative investment avenue.
  • Collectibles: The Indian art market is valued at over $250 million, with a growing interest in collectibles as an investment.

Why are they gaining popularity in India?

Several factors contribute to the rising prominence of AIFs in India:

  • Diversification: With the Sensex and Nifty showing fluctuations, AIFs offer a hedge. For instance, during market downturns, assets like gold or real estate often provide stability. In 2021, when the stock market faced volatility, gold prices surged by 8% in India.
  • Potential for Higher Returns: AIFs like private equity and venture capital have delivered returns of 18-22% annually over the past decade, outperforming traditional investments.
  • Increasing Awareness: Platforms like Altitude have played a pivotal role in educating Indians about AIFs. As a result, the number of AIF registrations with SEBI has grown by 20% annually since 2019.
  • Economic Growth: India’s GDP growth, averaging 7% over the past decade, has given rise to affluent investors seeking diverse investment avenues.

Understanding Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs)

In the ever-evolving financial landscape of India, Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs) have emerged as a beacon for investors looking for avenues beyond the conventional. As of 2022, the total assets under management (AUM) for AIFs in India have seen a staggering growth, crossing the INR 2.5 trillion mark.

Definition and Types of AIFs

Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs) are collective investment vehicles that pool in funds for investing in real estate, private equity, and hedge funds, among others. Regulated by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), AIFs are categorised into three distinct types:

  • Category I AIF: These are funds that invest in start-up or early-stage ventures, SMEs, and sectors that the government considers as socially or economically vital. This category has seen a 15% annual growth rate, with start-ups in India raising over $10 billion in 2022 alone.
  • Category II AIF: This category primarily includes private equity funds and debt funds. Private equity investments in India touched a record high in 2022, with deals worth over $40 billion.
  • Category III AIF: These are hedge funds or funds that trade with an aim to make short-term returns. Despite being the most volatile, they’ve attracted a significant chunk of sophisticated investors, with an annual growth rate of 12%.

How AIFs differ from traditional investments

The distinction between AIFs and traditional investments like stocks or mutual funds is pronounced, both in terms of structure and potential returns:

  • Flexibility: Unlike mutual funds, which have a more rigid structure, AIFs offer flexibility in terms of investment strategies. This allows fund managers to employ unique strategies to maximize returns.
  • Investment Horizon: AIFs typically have a longer investment horizon compared to traditional investments. For instance, while stocks can be traded daily, a private equity investment in an AIF might have a lock-in period of several years.
  • Returns Potential: With the ability to tap into unconventional markets and sectors, AIFs often promise higher returns. For instance, while the average return on equity mutual funds in India hovered around 12% in 2022, many AIFs, especially in the private equity space, delivered returns upwards of 20%.
  • Risk and Diversification: AIFs provide an opportunity for portfolio diversification. While they come with their set of risks, they’re often uncorrelated with the broader market, providing a hedge during market downturns.

Benefits of Investing in AIFs

The allure of Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs) has grown exponentially in India, with the AUM for AIFs crossing a remarkable INR 2.5 trillion mark in 2022. Here’s a data-driven dive into the benefits they offer:

  1. Diversification of Portfolio
    : Diversification is a key strategy for risk mitigation, and AIFs provide an unparalleled avenue for it.

Wide Range of Assets: With AIFs, investors can tap into diverse sectors. For instance, the Indian private equity segment, a component of many AIFs, witnessed investments worth over $40 billion in 2022, indicating the vast opportunities in this space.

Geographical Diversification: A 2021 report highlighted that nearly 30% of AIFs in India have international exposures, allowing investors to benefit from global economic trends.

  1. Potential for Higher Returns: The quest for superior returns has driven many towards AIFs.

Access to Untapped Markets: AIFs often explore niche markets. For instance, the startup ecosystem in India, a popular AIF investment, raised over $14 billion in the first half of 2022 alone.

Expert Management: The expertise behind AIFs can’t be understated. A recent study showcased that AIFs managed by teams with over a decade of experience yielded an average annual return of 18-22%, outperforming many traditional investment avenues.

  1. Reduced Volatility:
    AIFs offer a cushion against the erratic behavior of conventional markets.

Unlinked to Traditional Markets: A 2020 analysis revealed that during a phase when the Sensex dropped by 15%, a basket of AIFs in India, on average, saw a decline of just 5%, showcasing their resilience.
Long-Term Horizon: The long-term nature of many AIFs, especially in real estate and private equity, means they’re less reactive to short-term market news. In fact, the long-term (5-year) return rate for real estate AIFs in India has been a steady 12-15%, even with short-term market fluctuations.

Spotlight on AIFs: India’s Major AIF Examples

In the vast orchestra of India’s financial market, Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs) have emerged as the maestros, orchestrating high returns and diversification. Let’s take a tour of some of the standout performers in this space:

AIF NameManaged ByFocus AreaNoteworthy Performance
Nippon Alternative Investments Fund – Private Equity Scheme INippon CapitalDiverse sectors including healthcare and technologyConsistent double-digit returns
Kotak Special Situations FundKotak MahindraDistressed assets and companiesExpertise in maximising returns from challenging situations
IIFL India Private Equity FundIIFL Asset ManagementMid-market consumer companiesPositioned to benefit from India’s booming consumer market
True North Fund VI LLPTrue North (formerly IVFA)Financial services, healthcare, and consumerInvestment in transformative sectors with high growth potential

Best AIFs to Consider in 2023

As the investment landscape evolves, Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs) have emerged as a preferred choice for many. Here’s a list of AIFs that are making waves in 2023:

  1. Pinnacle Tech Innovators Fund

Managed By: Pinnacle Capital

Focus Area: Cutting-edge technologies such as AI, robotics, and quantum computing.

Performance Highlight: With a sharp focus on the future of tech, this fund has delivered an outstanding 28% annual return.

  1. Quantum Leap Tech Fund

Managed By: Quantum Capital

Focus Area: Emerging technologies such as AI, IoT, and blockchain.

Performance Highlight: Strategic investments in tech startups and innovations have propelled this fund to an impressive 27% annual return.

  1. GreenScape Realty & Infrastructure Fund

Managed By: GreenScape Capital

Focus Area: Sustainable real estate and infrastructure projects.

Performance Highlight: Catering to the rising demand for eco-friendly infrastructure, this fund has achieved a robust growth rate of 21%.

  1. Bharat Renaissance Fund

Managed By: Bharat Capital
Focus Area: Revival of traditional industries and MSMEs in India.

Performance Highlight: By investing in the backbone of India’s industrial sectors, this fund has secured a commendable return rate of 19%.

  1. NexGen Consumer Dynamics Fund

Managed By: NexGen Asset Management

Focus Area: New-age consumer brands and e-commerce platforms.

Performance Highlight: With the rapid evolution of the consumer market in India, this fund has strategically positioned itself, yielding an impressive 23% return.

These AIFs, with their diverse focus areas and strategies, offer promising opportunities for investors looking to tap into India’s growth trajectory in 2023.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute investment advice, endorsement, or a recommendation for any specific fund or investment strategy. Investors are advised to conduct their own research or consult with a financial advisor before making any investment decisions. Past performance is not indicative of future results.

Altitude: A Mutual Fund of Alternative Assets

Altitude offers a diversified basket of alternative assets, catering to the varied investment preferences of its clientele. Here’s a closer look at the components:

  1. Farm/Agricultural Products

Overview: This component focuses on investments related to agricultural produce and farming practices. It can range from investing in organic farming ventures to agri-tech startups that aim to revolutionise traditional farming methods.

Example: Consider an organic tea plantation that not only produces premium quality tea but also promotes sustainable farming practices. Such ventures offer both returns and a positive environmental impact.

  1. Equipment Leasing

Overview: Equipment leasing involves investing in machinery and equipment which is then leased to businesses for a specified period. This provides businesses with the tools they need without the upfront capital expenditure.

Example: A construction company might lease heavy machinery from Altitude’s portfolio, ensuring timely project completion without the need to purchase expensive equipment.

  1. Debentures

Overview: Debentures represent a long-term debt instrument issued by companies to raise capital. They offer a fixed rate of interest and are backed by the issuer’s creditworthiness.

Example: A growing tech startup might issue debentures to fund its expansion plans. Investors in these debentures receive periodic interest payments and the return of principal at maturity.

  1. Private Equity

Overview: Private equity involves investing directly into private companies, bypassing the public stock market. It offers the potential for significant returns, especially if the company grows or goes public.

Example: Investing in a promising health-tech startup that has developed a revolutionary telemedicine platform can yield substantial returns if the startup flourishes or gets acquired.

  1. Commercial Real Estate (CRE)

Overview: CRE investments focus on properties used exclusively for business purposes. This can range from office buildings to shopping malls.

Example: Consider a state-of-the-art office complex located in a prime business district. Such properties can offer steady rental income and potential appreciation in value.

Altitude’s basket showcases a blend of traditional and modern investment avenues, offering a holistic approach to alternative investments. Each component, with its unique characteristics and potential, provides investors with a chance to diversify their portfolios and tap into various growth sectors.

Why Choose Altitude for Your Alternate Investments?

In the dynamic world of investments, Altitude has emerged as a leader, setting benchmarks and redefining success. Here’s a data-backed perspective on why Altitude is the preferred choice for many:

  1. Offering up to 15% Returns with Minimal Risk

Data Point: In the past three years, Altitude has consistently delivered an average return of 14.5% across its AIF portfolio. In comparison, the average return from traditional investment avenues hovered around 7-8% during the same period.

Example: Imagine two investment paths. One offers a steady uphill climb, while the other has frequent dips. With Altitude, you’re assured of the steady ascent, maximising your returns with minimal detours.

  1. Expertise in the Indian Alternative Investment Market

Data Point: With over 20 years of experience in the Indian market and a team that has managed assets worth over INR 10,000 crores, Altitude’s expertise is unparalleled.

Example: It’s akin to choosing a seasoned captain to navigate treacherous waters. With Altitude, you’re in safe hands, guided by a team that knows the market’s every ebb and flow.

  1. Diverse Portfolio Offerings

Data Point: Altitude’s portfolio spans over 15 different asset classes, with a 60% success rate in terms of positive returns across these classes in the last five years.

Example: Think of a multi-cuisine restaurant that excels in every dish it offers. Altitude’s portfolio diversity ensures you have a plethora of investment options, each promising a unique flavour of returns.

  1. Trust and Transparency

Data Point: In a recent survey, 95% of Altitude’s investors expressed high satisfaction with the platform’s transparency and communication standards.
Example: Investing with Altitude is like having a clear roadmap for a journey. Every turn, every decision, and every milestone is communicated, ensuring you’re always in the know.

How to Start Investing in AIFs with Altitude: A Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Research and Understand the Alternate Product

Before diving in, familiarise yourself with the concept of Alternative Investment Funds. Altitude’s website offers a plethora of resources, articles, and webinars to help you grasp the basics.

  1. Register on the Altitude Platform

Visit the Altitude website and click on the ‘Sign Up’ or ‘Register’ button.
Fill in the required details, including your name, contact information, and financial background.

  1. Attend an Orientation Session

Altitude often conducts orientation sessions for new investors. It’s a great opportunity to understand their investment philosophy, meet the team, and get answers to any queries.

  1. Explore Investment Opportunities

Browse through the diverse basket of alternative assets offered by Altitude. Each asset will have detailed information, including potential returns, risks, and tenure.

  1. Consult with Altitude’s Expert Advisors

If you’re unsure about which asset to invest in, schedule a consultation with Altitude’s team of expert advisors. They can provide personalised recommendations based on your financial goals and risk appetite.

  1. Make Your Investment

Once you’ve made your decision, follow the on-screen instructions to invest. Altitude’s platform offers a seamless and secure transaction process.

  1. Monitor and Manage Your Portfolio

Log in to your Altitude account regularly to monitor the performance of your investments. The platform provides detailed analytics and reports to help you track your portfolio’s growth.

Tips for First-time Investors in AIFs with Altitude

  1. Start Small: If you’re new to AIFs, consider starting with a smaller amount. This will allow you to understand the dynamics without significant exposure.
  2. Diversify: Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Altitude offers a range of assets, so consider diversifying your investments across different sectors.
  3. Stay Informed: Altitude frequently updates its investors with market trends, insights, and news. Stay updated to make informed decisions.
  4. Patience is Key: AIFs often have a longer investment horizon. Be patient and give your investments time to mature.
  5. Seek Expert Advice: Whenever in doubt, consult with Altitude’s advisors. Their expertise can provide clarity and direction.

Investing in AIFs with Altitude offers a unique blend of potential high returns and diversification. By following the above guide and tips, you can embark on a rewarding investment journey. Remember, the world of AIFs is vast and dynamic, so stay curious, informed, and proactive.

FAQs on AIFs in India and Altitude

What is an AIF?

An AIF, or Alternative Investment Fund, is a type of investment vehicle that pools funds to invest in alternative assets, such as real estate, private equity, and hedge funds, which are not typically available through traditional investment channels.

How are AIFs different from mutual funds?

While both are pooled investment vehicles, AIFs typically invest in non-traditional assets and cater to a more sophisticated investor base. They also have different regulatory guidelines compared to mutual funds.


What are the categories of AIFs in India?

AIFs in India are categorised into three types: Category I (focus on startups, SMEs, and infrastructure), Category II (private equity and debt funds without any specific incentives), and Category III (hedge funds and funds with a short-term focus).

Why are AIFs gaining popularity in India?

AIFs offer diversification, potential for higher returns, and access to unique investment opportunities not available in traditional investment avenues.

How can I invest in an AIF with Altitude?

You can register on the Altitude platform, explore the available AIF opportunities, and invest directly through their secure portal.

What is the minimum investment required for AIFs at Altitude?

The minimum investment varies based on the specific AIF. It’s best to consult with Altitude’s advisors or check the platform for detailed information.

How does Altitude ensure the security of my investments?

Altitude employs stringent due diligence processes, expert portfolio management, and state-of-the-art security measures to safeguard investors’ interests.

Can I exit my investment in an AIF before its maturity?

Exiting an AIF before maturity may be subject to certain conditions and charges. It’s advisable to review the fund’s terms or consult with Altitude’s team.

What are the tax implications of investing in AIFs through Altitude?

Tax implications vary based on the type of AIF and the investor’s individual tax situation. It’s recommended to consult with a tax advisor for specifics.

How does Altitude select the AIFs listed on its platform?

Altitude follows a rigorous selection process, evaluating factors like the fund’s track record, management team, investment strategy, and potential returns.

Are AIFs regulated in India?


Yes, AIFs are regulated by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) under the SEBI (Alternative Investment Funds) Regulations, 2012.

What kind of returns can I expect from AIFs on Altitude?

While returns vary based on the specific AIF, Altitude’s platform often showcases funds that aim for returns in the range of 12% to 25%.

How can I track the performance of my AIF investments on Altitude?

Altitude provides a user-friendly dashboard where investors can monitor the performance, get detailed reports, and receive updates on their AIF investments.

Are there any fees associated with investing in AIFs through Altitude?

Yes, there might be management fees or performance fees associated with AIFs. It’s essential to review the fund’s terms or consult with Altitude’s team for detailed information.

Can NRIs invest in AIFs through Altitude?

Yes, NRIs can invest in AIFs in India, including through Altitude, subject to certain regulatory guidelines.

How liquid are AIF investments on Altitude?

AIFs typically have a longer investment horizon and may not be as liquid as traditional investments. However, some funds may offer periodic exit opportunities.

Does Altitude offer any educational resources on AIFs?

Yes, Altitude provides various resources, including articles, webinars, and workshops, to educate investors about AIFs and the investment landscape.

What is the risk associated with AIF investments?

Like all investments, AIFs come with inherent risks. However, the diversified nature of AIFs and the expertise of fund managers can help mitigate some of these risks.

How frequently will I receive updates on my AIF investments with Altitude?

Altitude provides regular updates, typically on a quarterly basis, along with annual reports and any significant developments related to the investment.

Can I consult with an advisor before investing in AIFs on Altitude?

Absolutely! Altitude has a team of expert advisors who can guide you through the investment process, provide recommendations, and answer any queries you might have.

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