The UK Government’s development finance institution CDC Group plc has invested USD 6 Mn in pi Ventures, India’s first Applied Artificial Intelligence and IoT focused early stage venture fund. The amount will be used to invest in startups with deep tech capabilities that have the potential to disrupt sectors and facilitate a lasting change in businesses and lives.
CDC Group plc aims to increase capital flows to underdeveloped markets so countries can finance their way out of poverty. Their focus is to find talented teams and cohesively grow great businesses in Africa and South Asia. CDC’s unique structure combines the best of private sector skills with a public-spirited mission. Their focus sectors to invest include financial services, infrastructure, health, manufacturing, food and agriculture, construction and real estate, and education, typically that which will lead to the economic growth of a country.
Alagappan Murugappan, Managing Director, Head of Intermediated Equity, South Asia, CDC Group plc, said, “We are pleased to be supporting pi Ventures for its AI-focused fund. This allows our capital to support early-stage companies that are innovating through technology to provide affordable goods and services at scale in areas such as healthcare among others.”
pi Ventures announced their second close in January this year at $25mn and the fund is expected to announce their final close shortly. Key contributors to the fund include Chairman of Hero Enterprise Sunil Kant Munjal, Electronic Development Fund (managed by Canbank Ventures), SIDBI, prominent family offices from USA, Canada, Singapore & India and leading entrepreneurs like Mohandas Pai, Binny Bansal, Deep Kalra, Sanjeev Bikchandani and Bhupen Shah among others. The fund is co-sponsored by In Color Capital of Canada.
Manish Singhal, Founding Partner, pi Ventures added, “CDC’s confidence fuels our vision to find, fund and support the best teams who are using Artificial Intelligence to solve real world problems. We are very happy to have their support and backing”.
pi Ventures has announced 6 investments so far – invested in SigTuple (revolutionising global healthcare space through data driven intelligence), NIRAMAI (non-invasive, non-touch, non-radiation approach to detect breast cancer), ten3T (medical grade wearable device), Zenatix (data-driven energy efficiency company acquired by Hero Electronix), CustomerSuccessBox (customer success platform which helps B2B SaaS companies reduce, churn and grow their recurring revenue by applying AI and ML) and Locus.sh (logistics optimisation platform).
The 70-year old CDC Group has been investing in India for over 30 years and has already made 595 investments across sectors.
CDC Group plc is the UK’s development finance institution. Wholly owned by the UK Government, it invests in Africa and South Asia with the aim of supporting economic development to create jobs. CDC has net assets of £5.1bn.
In May of last year, International Finance Corporation (IFC), a part of the World Bank Group, had invested $3 million in pi Ventures’ maiden fund.
pi Ventures is India’s first Applied Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning & IoT focused early stage venture fund, founded by Manish Singhal (Ex Co-founder & CEO, LetsVenture and prominent angel investor) and Umakant Soni (Ex Director India, Science Inc & Co-founder AI BOT company). Backed by some of the leading entrepreneurs globally, pi Ventures brings hands-on product and entrepreneurial experience to the Indian venture investing ecosystem. pi Ventures focuses on healthcare, logistics, retail, fintech and enterprise sectors.
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