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The Michael and Susan Dell Foundation (MSDF), an active impact investor in India that backs early-stage ventures operating in the education, skills and financial inclusion segments, has earmarked an additional $50 Mn (about INR 333 Cr) towards investments in the country over the next three years.

The foundation has planned to use the amount primarily for making direct investments in the early-stage ventures along with its existing seed-stage fund, India Educational Investment Fund (IEIF).

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Debasish Mitter, country director-India at MSDF said, “A large part of the $50 Mn will go towards funding startups. This is also because, while we are an extremely active impact investor, we are increasingly finding that the venture capital space is struggling to get money and ventures in areas of our interest are even more starved.  We are looking to increase our offerings to ventures, which currently include grants, equity financing, debt and non-convertible debt offerings.”

According to experts, impact investing in India has remained largely stagnant in terms of deal activity, over the last two years. As per the data by Venture Intelligence, 2015 and 2014 saw transactions worth $104 Mn spread over 57 deals and $106 Mn across 49 transactions, respectively. While the year 2016 has seen 14 transactions so far, amounting to $42 Mn.

In India, the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation has backed two early-stage funds viz Unitus Seed Fund and Menterra Venture Advisors, an impact fund set up by social business incubator Villgro as a limited partner.

Mitter added that they are willing to take any investment tool that best supports the requirement of solving the business problems in order to get deals that provide a tremendous fit between a venture philanthropist approach to seed funding.


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