Aimed at investing in Indian startups which has potential to reduce poverty, Unitus Seed Fund has received undisclosed amount of funds from Genpact founder and former chief executive Pramod Bhasin and former vice-chairman of investment banking and global head of the financial institutions group at Credit Suisse Vikram Gandhi.
“We look forward to using our experience and expertise to empower ground-level enterprises built around business models that are scalable and can positively impact lives of the low-income masses,” said Bhasin.
According to Gandhi, “While social entrepreneurs often come up with breakthrough ideas and innovations to fulfil the needs of underserved segments of society, they are hamstrung with insufficient funding, regulatory hurdles, lack of key competencies and business models that are not fully evolved.”
Unitus has recently expanded its presence in Kolkata, Pune and Coimbatore, taking the total number states to ten in which it has presence in the country.
Unitus Seed Fund, along with Sylvant, last year announced a nationwide program StartEdu to identify, support, and invest in the most promising early-stage education startups focussed at serving India’s 20 crore families living on under INR 20,000 per month. The program also included two nationwide education-sector startup competitions to be organised this year which offered cash prizes and mentoring for the winners of each, and gave the first and second place winners of each competition the opportunity to pitch for up to INR 1 Cr seed investment from Unitus Seed Fund.
Seattle and Bangalore based Unitus seed fund has invested in startups like Jiffstore, Curiositi and Cue Learn Pvt. Ltd. Leading businessmen such as Microsoft founder Bill Gates, former Infosys chief financial officer T.V. Mohandas Pai and former Microsoft India CEO Ravi Venkatesan have invested in the fund which has received over $20Mn in the last three years.