Exclusive: India’s Aavishkaar looks to raise $150m for Indonesia, invest in 15 cos

Indian VC firm Aavishkaar Venture Management is looking to raise between $100 million and $150 million funds for Indonesia, and is hoping to invest in 10-15 Indonesian companies within the next five years, a top executive with the firm said.

CEO and managing director Vineet Rai told DEALSTREETASIA that his company expects to close 5-6 deals in the next year or two. Aavishkaar is stepping up investments in Indonesia as it plans to raise a new fund in the near future, he said.

“We are looking at various sectors such as education, health, energy, agriculture, poultry, and dairy. Indonesian entrepreneurs have ideas that we have not yet encountered in India, and some of them are even developing solutions for global problems,” said Rai.

“Of course we may not be able to invest everything to Indonesia. But we are expecting to realize at least half of that number,” he added.

Aavishkaar’s current funds for Indonesia is only between $15 million and $20 million, with a ticket size ranging from $500,000 to as big as $5 million.

Rai said the company is now in the process of completing a deal with a cassava starch maker. The agreement is expected to close in December.

In November 2015, Aavishkaar had announced its first investment in Indonesia – an undisclosed funding in PT Bali Seafood, a subsidiary of North Atlantic Inc. NAI operates in the fishery sector, sourcing seafood from Indonesian artisanal fishermen and marketing frozen products to supermarkets and restaurants in North Africa and Asia.

Over the last decade, Aavishkaar has invested in 53 enterprises in India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Indonesia across eight sectors. About 90 per cent of the companies have their main operations in rural and semi-urban markets of India. It has had 15 full exits and six partial exits from its portfolio firms to date.

According to Rai, Aavishkaar had big ambitions for Indonesia. In addition to brining in investments, the company also wants to bring the entire ecosystem of social entrepreneurship to the country. Rai affirmed that Indonesia remains an attractive market for Aavishkaar.

“If everything goes right, in the next 3-5 years we will be bringing our debt funds, something that you don’t have here,” he said.

“We will also be bringing our advisory services, working with the government, local finance institutions, and corporations, so that we can create the entire ecosystem,” Rai added.

One of Aavishkaar’s initiatives to build a sustainable ecosystem in Indonesia is Sankalp Southeast Asia Summit, which it brought to Jakarta on October 25-26. The summit – the largest in the region – connected entrepreneurs to regional and global investors, corporate, policy makers, incubators and service providers.

Rai said Indonesia was a suitable place to build this platform as it is the fulcrum of the region.

Aavishkaar – which means ‘invention’ in Hindi – was founded in 2001 as an investment company focusing on low-income market segment and startups that are engaged in social-impact issues. Overall, it is managing over $500 million of assets, of which half of them are debt.

Over the next ten years, Aavishkaar targets to invest in 300 startup companies across emerging economies with significant low-income populations. To achieve this goal, Aavishkaar aims to raise $1 billion in funds.

Also Read:

Exclusive: Aavishkaar plans bigger deals, hopes to close SE Asia-focussed fund this year

India Digest: Aavishkaar exits microfin firm Suryoday; Housing.com plans to raise more funds

India: Aavishkaar invests $2m in Bangladesh-based payment systems firm CloudWell

We’re bullish on investing in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore: Vishal Harnal, 500 Startups

Zhexin’s Indonesian arm launches $10m fund, focusing on local companies

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.