Indian B-school IIMA centre launches $25m fund with backing from Omidyar, others

IIM Ahmedabad. Photo: Livemint

Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad’s (IIMA’s) centre for innovation, incubation, and entrepreneurship (CIIE) on Monday launched a $25 million ‘Bharat Inclusion Initiative’ that will look to mentor and invest in start-ups in the early stage and seed segment over the next three-four years.

The initiative received an initial pledge of $12.5 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, and Omidyar Network, IIMA said in a statement on Monday.

CIIE’s ‘Bharat Inclusion Seed Fund’ has set aside $22.5 million to invest in pre-Series A technology start-ups. The fund announced its initial close at $7.5 million and is expected to make a final close at $15 million by July. The fund will look at start-ups in areas such as financial inclusion, livelihood, education, agriculture, and health.

In addition, CIIE will devote $5 million for providing strategic mentorship to startups through a series of acceleration programmes, workshops and business partnerships. All research, insights, and publications produced under the programme will be openly disseminated, added CIIE.

“The Bharat Inclusion Initiative aims to provide a continuum of solutions to inclusion-focused tech entrepreneurs across the pre-incubation, seed and scale-up stage and help them jump to the next orbit. It is heartening to see the support for this initiative from all the partners,” said Neharika Vohra, chairperson, CIIE Initiatives.

According to Santhosh Ramdoss, director, India programmes, at the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, a large portion of urban poor families in India do not have any formal access to financial services. “We are presented with a landmark opportunity to take on this challenge, given India’s leadership in building a cutting-edge public technology infrastructure that can be used to seamlessly deliver a variety of critical digital services to low-income families,” said Ramdoss in a statement.

CIIE was founded to support entrepreneurs and turn business ideas into viable businesses models. It partners with industry experts, mentors, corporates, IIMA community and investors to help incubate early-stage start-ups.

In the past, CIIE incubated start-ups such as Razorpay, Hashcube, Rolocule, and Thrillophilia. Apart from tech start-ups, CIIE also works with early-stage companies in the agri-tech segment.

This article was first published on livemint.com

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.