Ankur Capital, the early-stage venture capital fund focused on technology disruptions for the next billion, has announced the first close of its second fund Ankur Capital Fund II (ACF II) at Rs 240 crore. The fund expects to reach its target close of Rs 350 crore later this year. ACF-II saw participation from CDC Group Plc, the UK’s first impact investor and Development Finance Institution and other highly reputed international and domestic institutional investors as well as participation from existing LPs, The Dutch Good Growth Fund and SIDBI which is investing out of its Fund of Funds Startup program.
Founded in 2014 by Penn/INSEAD alum Ritu Verma and ex-COO of Zee e-learning Rema Subramanian, Ankur Capital’s first fund invested across 14 companies covering sectors across agritech, food, healthcare and vernacular technologies. Some of the companies include Cropin, Niramai, Healthsutra, ERC, and StringBio.
CDC has been responsibly investing in Indian funds for over 30 years. Alongside its capital, CDC partners with Funds and businesses that work to create significant development impact across multiple sectors. Working closely with Ankur Capital, CDC will play a key role in advancing the Fund’s approach to environmental and social practices, both at the fund and portfolio level. CDC will also help strengthen the network of portfolio advisers and build further capacity in portfolio companies.
Sara Taylor, Director and Head of Catalyst Funds, Funds and Capital Partnerships, said, “Supporting the first close of ACF-II goes to the heart of how we use our capital at CDC. The companies that Ankur’s Fund will support are at the forefront of addressing development impact challenges using new technologies in India. This Fund will address United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, 1,2,3 and 4 , demonstrating our commitment to investing to support the SDG’s.”
Clemens Gerteiser, Head of Investment for the Dutch Good Growth Fund, said: “Ankur embodies DGGF’s role of spearheading new initiatives for the missing middle. The team has shown great tenacity and dedication in a challenging market and we have been fortunate to be able to support Ankur’s journey so far: Initially with seed capital and business development and now with a cornerstone investment into their new fund.”
Ritu Verma, Co-founder & Managing Partner, Ankur Capital, said, “At Ankur, our investing philosophy has always been to support entrepreneurs who are building technology led solutions for the mass markets. We are thankful to our backers to help us make a difference at the ground level”. Rema Subramanian, Co-founder & Managing Partner, Ankur Capital added, “Ankur is looking to go deeper with its investments and will support companies from INR 3cr to 35 crores.”
The second fund was launched in early 2019 and has also onboarded Krishnan Neelakantan, ex-head of CLSA India Research as a partner. The fund will continue its focus on frontier technologies that unlock markets for the next billion. It will continue to leverage its expertise and knowledge in the agritech, food, vernacular and health space but will also expand into sectors such as fintech and edtech. The fund expects to make 15-18 investments and will look to deploy in 6-8 companies in this coming year.
CDC Group is the UK’s first impact investor with over 70 years of experience of successfully supporting the sustainable, long-term growth of businesses in South Asia and Africa. The Fund is a leading player in the fight against climate change and a UK champion of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals – the global blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for us all.
CDC is funded by the UK government and all proceeds from its investments are reinvested to improve the lives of millions of people in Africa and South Asia. CDC’s expertise makes it the perfect partner for private investors looking to devote capital to making a measurable environmental and social impact in countries most in need of investment.
About the Dutch Good Growth Fund
DGGF is funded by the Dutch Government and is a program that aims to improve access to finance for ‘missing middle’ SMEs in 68 selected countries. This is achieved by investing in funds and other financial intermediaries that have the relevant capacity and local presence to directly reach out to companies in the DGGF’s target markets. The fund is managed by Triple Jump BV, a Netherlands based Impact Investment Manager.