Exclusive: Aavishkaar to mark first close of latest India fund at $150m this quarter

Photo by Daniel Hjalmarsson on Unsplash

Mumbai-based impact investor Aavishkaar is set to mark the first close of its $310-million India-focused fund at $150 million this quarter, the firm’s partner EN Venkat told this portal.

Aavishkaar Bharat Fund, the investor’s sixth vehicle, is a SEBI registered Category II Alternative Investment Fund. The firm is aiming to raise a total of Rs 2,000 crore ($310 million) for this fund. Aavishkaar Bharat Fund will invest in businesses engaging with the underserved population in sectors such as agriculture, financial services, healthcare, waste and sanitation, renewable energy and logistics and supply chain.

“Hopefully, we can reach $150 million at this close,” Venkat said on the sidelines of media luncheon with reporters in Jakarta.

In April, Indian firm Hero Enterprises announced that it had invested $15.5 million into the fund. Hero Enterprises is a diversified business group with its mainstay in the auto sector including bicycles, motorcycles, auto components, and a host of service businesses. It has also recently invested in a number of startups and select e-commerce ventures.

“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,” Sunil Kant Munjal, Chairman, Hero Enterprises had said then.

Aavishkaar is also planning to raise up to $150 million to invest in Africa. It is now assembling a team to be stationed there, and is hoping to start raising in 2018. The Africa fund will be the second overseas-focused fund from the impact investor. It will also be Aavishkaar’s seventh fund.

In Indonesia, Aavishkaar recently announced a Series A investment into craft marketplace platform Qlapa. Aavishkaar has currently allocated between $15 million and $20 million for Indonesia investments, with ticket sizes ranging from $500,000 to as high as $5 million.

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