VC Firm Aavishkaar To Raise Biggest Funding Focusing Social Sector

Mumbai based venture capital firm Aavishkaar is all set to raise $400 million (Rs 2,500 crore) in 2015, which would be the biggest amount raised by any fund focusing on the social sector or impact investing in India. Notably, Aavishkaar Venture Management Services is India's biggest social entrepreneurship-focused venture capital fund.

Aavishkar would raise two separate funds, a $100 million and a $300 million one within the next 12 months. "We hope to close the first fund by the end of March as we are half way there. We are also raising a separate $300 million fund which would be closed by the end of 2015," said Vineet Rai, CEO and managing director, Aavishkar.

The initial $100-million fund would be an Africa-focused fund while the $300-million fund would focus entrepreneurs and start-ups in India. In the past 12 years, Aavishkar had raised $112 million and invested in the early stage social sector enterprises. However, with its upcoming $300 million India-focused fund, it plans to invest in companies at a later stage. This would also be the first time an Indian VC is investing in Africa.

Aaavishkaar was founded in 2001, with a vision to catalyze development in India's undeserved regions and a 10-year goal to invest in 300 start-up companies and raise US$1 billion over the next ten years. So in the past decade, Aavishkar had made 48 investments across eight sectors with 100% seed stage investments and have achieved 11 Full and 4 partial exits and with 90 per cent of the companies having rural and semi-urban markets as their focus.

Over the last decade, Aavishkaar has established a successful track record with over US$ 155 million under management and a diverse portfolio of high-impact businesses at various levels of growth. This spans a range of sectors, namely agriculture, dairy, education, energy, handicrafts, health, water and sanitation, technology for development, micro-finance and financial inclusion.

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