Aavishkaar Announces the First Close of its 6th Fund the Aavishkaar Bharat Fund (ABF) at INR 594 Crore (US$ 92 Million)

MUMBAI, November 17, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --

Aavishkaar, the pioneering Impact Fund Advisory Firm, part of the Aavishkaar Intellecap Group announced the first close of its 6th fund, The Aavishkaar Bharat Fund at INR 594 Cr (US$ 92 Million). The fund has received confirmed commitments that would take it close to INR 620 Crore (US$ 95 Million).

Aavishkaar Bharat Fund (ABF) is an India-focussed fund that would take forward its unique investing strategy that generates commercial returns whilst focusing on business models engaging with low and low middle income communities to create impact. Aavishkaar has raised 5 other funds prior to ABF and invests in India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

ABF will invest in start-ups and early growth stage companies in sectors like agriculture, financial services, healthcare, logistics & supply chain, renewable energy, etc. with the intent to build commercially attractive and socially impactful businesses.  

Including ABF, Aavishkaar now manages 6 funds with an aggregate corpus of INR 2000 Crore (US$ 300 million). Funds advised by Aavishkaar have till date made 58 investments across India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh and 25 exits while generating 250,000 jobs and livelihoods and reaching 70 million+ beneficiaries. More than 50% of these beneficiaries are women.

Aavishkaar's investments include Equitas Small Finance Bank, AgroStar, MilkMantra, Lets Recycle, EPS and Jaypore.

The Aavishkaar Bharat Fund is a SEBI registered AIF anchored by SIDBI, CDC Group Plc, Munjal Family Office (Hero Corp) and TIAA (one of the largest pension fund manager globally).  

Commenting on the investment, Ajay Kapur, Deputy Managing Director, SIDBI, said, "SIDBI found Aavishkaar's business model of identifying and nurturing start-up and MSME to make significant impact in line with the Bank's objective of reaching and supporting innovation led businesses to provide equity for their success. As part of Government of India commitment to support funds, SIDBI has committed INR 75 Crore to help Aavishkaar significantly scale up its outreach to support and scale MSME and Start up in India through 'Aavishkaar Bharat Fund' initiative."

Alagappan Murugappan, Managing Director, Intermediated Equity (Asia) of CDC Group plc, said, "With our new US$ 25m commitment to the Aavishkaar Bharat Fund, CDC is pleased to continue supporting the Aavishkaar team as it increases its investment activity in India's underserved communities. Aavishkaar's track record and experience put it in a good position to continue backing businesses that create economic opportunity and affordable products and services."

Commending prudent, local efforts to bring capital to underserved populations, Rekha Unnithan, Impact Investing Portfolio Manager at Nuveen, the Investment Manager of TIAA, added, "We believe in the ability of purpose-driven capital to be transformative in entrepreneurial and disruptive businesses while creating attractive investment returns. This investment aligns with key themes of our impact investment portfolio, such as financial inclusion and economic development."

Explaining the rationale for the investment, Mr. Sunil Kant Munjal, Chairman, Hero Enterprises, said, "At this stage in India's evolution, it is clear that for the entire country to develop, rural areas and underprivileged citizens must become part of the economic miracle, not through charity, but through real opportunities. Currently, most of India's development has taken place in urban areas and in medium and large enterprises. So, it is heartening that a number of small and brave entrepreneurs are getting into projects aimed at the Indian heartland. It is our turn to step in, provide support, and help create prosperity at the bottom of the pyramid by supporting Aavishkaar Bharat Fund."

Aavishkaar's Founder & CEO, Vineet Rai said, "As the world embarks on eradicating poverty and hunger through Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Aavishkaar believes its unique strategy of using private sector capital to deliver impact on the ground whilst generating returns would be crucial in aiding the world achieve these goals. We are thankful to all our investors who have trusted us with their capital and have empowered us to nurture and build such businesses. We are confident of delivering attractive returns whilst bringing about a significant positive change in the lives of the people."

About Aavishkaar Venture Management Services 

Aavishkaar a part of the Aavishkaar-Intellecap group, is one of the global pioneers in impact investing, taking an entrepreneurship based approach to development. Aavishkaar has gone on to make more than 58 investments, across sectors and geographies and has raised six funds, delivering commercial returns with close to USD 300 Million assets under management.

Aavishkaar's unique approach has resulted in its invested enterprises impacting over 70 million lives and creating over 250,000 jobs and livelihoods. Aavishkaar started its journey in India and invests across South Asia and South-East Asia. Aavishkaar is now considering to launch its 7th fund in Africa.

About CDC Group plc 

CDC Group plc is the UK's development finance institution. Wholly owned by the UK Government, it invests in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia with the aim of supporting economic development to create jobs. CDC Group plc has invested in India since 1987. CDC takes a flexible approach and provides capital in all its forms, including equity, debt, mezzanine and guarantees, to meet businesses' needs and achieve development impact. CDC has net assets of £4.8bn.

About SIDBI 

Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) facilitates and strengthens credit flow to MSMEs and address both financial and developmental gaps in the MSME eco-system. It was set up on April 2, 1990 under an Act of Indian Parliament, acts as the Principal Financial Institution for the Promotion, Financing and Development of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) sector and for Co-ordination of the functions of the institutions engaged in similar activities. The business domain of SIDBI consists of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), which contribute significantly to the national economy in terms of production, employment and exports. MSME sector is an important pillar of Indian economy as it contributes greatly to the growth of Indian economy with a vast network of around 5.1 Crore units, creating employment of about 11.7 Crore, manufacturing more than 6,000 products, contributing about 45% to manufacturing output and about 40% of exports in terms of value, about 37% of GDP.  

Media Contact:
Tanushree Varadarajan
The PRactice

SOURCE Aavishkaar

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