Social-impact investment firm Omidyar Network has announced a rapid response fund of INR 7.5 Cr ($1 Mn) for tech proposals that are looking to support the vulnerable sections — vendors, daily wage earners, gig-economy workers, and small businesses — through and beyond the coronavirus pandemic.
Omidyar Network’s rapid response fund is open for non-governmental organisations (NGOs), research organisations, social entrepreneurs, and for-profit businesses who are planning to take up these initiatives on a no-profit basis. Besides this, Omidyar Network’s existing partners are also encouraged to send their proposals.
Omidyar Network is looking for tech solutions that can strengthen containment, detection, and treatment of coronavirus or Covid-19 pandemic, along with developing stronger crisis management capabilities, resilience, and recovery in the wake of Covid-19. The social impact investment firm has decided to invest an average ticket size of INR 5 Lakh to INR 2 Cr.
Omidyar Network said the rapid response fund would primarily focus on the below segments:
- Data, App-Based Tech Solutions: This can include solutions that provide real-time information, symptoms checks, chatbots-powered helplines in vernacular languages, contact tracing applications, and case reporting systems.
- Community Outreach And Mobilisation Campaigns: This will include solutions that require social distancing for the current coronavirus pandemic. For instance, applications that can help with mass messaging and feedback loops.
- Solutions That Improve Economic Resilience: Omidyar Network is also looking for solutions that ensure economic security for NHB workers and small businesses, whose livelihoods are and will be impacted due to the coronavirus outbreak.
- Solutions For Government And Public: Solutions that enhance the efficiency and ability of the government and public to deal with the situations
- Other Collaborative Efforts: Any collaborative efforts in the above-mentioned fields.
The proposals should pitch in time-bound intervention solutions that can be implemented quickly and benefit a large number of Indians, especially the lower 60% of the income distribution. Besides this, the solution should have initial tractions, which can be evidenced through government or community commitment to implement the proposals, completed pilots, available funding and more.
Each proposal should include the following details:
- Context of the problem
- Description of the solution
- Segment of the population it will serve
- Potential impact in 3 months and 1 year
- Evidence of initial traction
- High-level budget
- Two to three testimonials or references
Interested parties can send their proposals to [email protected] with the subject line “Next Half Billion – Covid19 related proposal”.
The Indian startup community has been joining in to support each other and the nation during the dark times of the coronavirus pandemic. For instance, AngelList has committed to invest INR 50 Lakh into the startups that are working on possible solutions for Covid-19 or coronavirus. Digital payments platform Paytm has also decided to invest INR 5 Cr to help innovators and companies in finding solutions to tackle the potential shortage of clinical ventilators and other medical equipment.
Meanwhile, Wingify founder Paras Chopra recently announced an online hackathon for startups that are developing solutions for the deadly virus. Chopra is joined by Sparsh Gupta, CEO of Wingify.