Impact investor and advisor Aavishkaar Group is looking to raise $300 Mn for its South Asia-focused fund early next year to invest in Vietnam, Indonesia, Myanmar and Laos among others.
“We are avoiding India and China, and looking more at smaller markets which have unutilised potential. I see Indonesia as the next hub of impact investing. Like India, it has a high density of population and business models are very scalable. It also has a cultural connect and similarities with an evolving private equity/venture capital system,” Vineet Rai, managing partner and chief executive of Aavishkaar Venture Management Services reportedly said.
The Mumbai-based firm plans to raise the funds from sovereign investors in Singapore, Japan, Australia and the UK, in addition to Asian development finance institutions.
The South Asia fund is the eighth fund for the firm and it aims to achieve the first close by end of 2019. This comes close on the heels of the firm’s $75 Mn Frontier Fund focused on South and South-East Asia.
Aavishkaar: A History Of Welfare Investments
Aavishkaar was founded in 2001, with a vision to catalyse development in India’s underserved regions, it identifies capable entrepreneurs, provides them with capital, supplements it with a nurturing environment and helps build sustainable enterprises.
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 $300 Mn in assets under management.
Aavishkaar raised $95 Mn in the first close of its $200 Mn Aavishkaar Bharat Fund, in November 2017. The investment is the second from the fund, which is targeting early-to-mid stage investment opportunities in sectors such as healthcare, agriculture, clean technology, education and financial inclusion.
The firm is looking to attain the final close of the Aavishkaar Bharat Fund within the next 12 to 18 months.
The firm is also raising funds for a $150 Mn Africa fund, its first foray into the African market. Rai expects this fund to hit the first close of $60 Mn- $80 Mn by April 2019.
Among the backers of the Aavishkaar Bharat Fund are large institutional investors like the UK government-run development finance institution CDC Group and Indian companies like Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) as well as family offices including that of Hero Enterprise Chairman Sunil Munjal.
The company has earlier made bets on startups like a luxury lifestyle brand Mela Artisans (2014) and curated ecommerce platform Jaypore (2016), and New Delhi-based B2B transportation solution provider GoBOLT (2018).
Recently, the fund had committed $5.3 Mn (INR 35 Cr) in Bengaluru-based packaged foods company, Kottaram Agro Foods.
[The development was reported by Livemint.]