Social enterprise focused investment firm Aavishkaar Group has raised $37 Mn from Netherlands-based FMO Entrepreneurial Development Bank. This investment is said to be part of Aavishkaar’s plans to foray in Africa and Southeast Asia.
Vineet Rai, chief executive of Aavishkaar Group, reportedly told ET, “a substantial portion of proceeds from the new round will be used to start building the groundwork to expand its operations in Africa and Southeast Asia, with an added focus on bringing its debt vehicles to the two regions.”
Existing backers of the Aavishkaar Bharat Fund include UK government-run development finance institution CDC Group, Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) and Hero Enterprise Chairman Sunil Munjal among others.
Earlier in November 2018, Aavishkaar Group was reported to be eyeing a $300 Mn fundraise for its South Asia-focused fund to invest in Vietnam, Indonesia, Myanmar and Laos among others.
The firm was then also said to in the process of launching a $150 Mn Africa fund, which was expected to hit the first close of $60 Mn- $80 Mn by April 2019.
Aavishkaar Group’s Portfolio
Aavishkaar was founded in 2001, with a vision to catalyse development in India’s underserved regions. The firm now is now said to have over $1 Bn in assets under management and a diverse portfolio ranging across sectors such as agriculture, dairy, education, energy, handicrafts, health, water and sanitation, technology for development, microfinance and financial inclusion.
It focuses on early-to-mid stage companies ranging across sectors such as healthcare, agriculture, clean technology, education and financial inclusion. Earlier in 2017, Aavishkaar had announced the first close of its $200 Mn Aavishkaar Bharat Fund.
The firm’s portfolio include startups such as luxury lifestyle brand Mela Artisans, curated ecommerce platform Jaypore, agritech company Agrostar, logistics startup GoBOLT, and packaged food brand Kottaram Agro Foods (Soulfull) among others.
Bengaluru-based Soulfull was founded by Prashant Parameswaran in 2011. The packaged-food company processes traditional crops such as ragi into attractive breakfast and snack options like flakes, ragi bites, muesli and ready-to-cook oat-millet meals. Recently in July, Soulfull was felicitated by NABARD for its promising use of technology in agriculture.
Further, the Pune-based agritech startup, AgroStar recently raised $27 Mn (INR 188 Cr) Series C funding led by Bertelsmann India in March 2019, where Aavishkaar also infused a follow-up funding.