Aavishkaar India Micro Venture Capital Fund (Aavishkaar) has made a final close at $14 million. The fund had a final target of raising $15 million.The fund has received additional capital commitment of Rs 7.37 crore ($1.5 million) for its second fund which had its initial closing on January 2009. The fund has got a contribution of Rs 4.93 crore from Rockefeller Foundation and Rs 2.44 crore from David Weekley Family Foundation.
Vineet Rai, founder and the CEO of Aavishkaar, confirmed this development to VCCircle. "It took us a long time, but we are happy to make a close." Aavishkaar is the only micro-venture capital fund in the country.
New York-based Rockefeller Foundation which was set up in 1913 had total assets of $4.6 billion (as of December 207) having generated returns of 16.9% during that year. The foundation whose long term asset allocation hinges on almost 61% amount going into equities of developed and emerging market besides hedge/distressed funds, seeks to target 12% of total assets in private equity of which 40% went to VC firms and the rest to buyout firms (as of December 2007). Allocation to Asia was around 15% of the total earmarked for private equity.
David Weekley Family Foundation is charitable organisation backed by the founders of Houston (US)-based home builder David Weekley Homes.
As reported by VCCircle (see our earlier report below) Aavishkaar had received government clearance for fresh capital of around Rs 23 crore ($4.7 million) through a group of new investors and additional capital commitment from an existing investor, taking its total funds under management to $11.3 million.
These new investors included Oasis Fund (part of Swiss investment advisory firm Bamboo Finance which specialises in financing social entrepreneurship), FMO (Dutch development finance company), Dreilinden GmbH (German social investment group) and George Avenue CV (a private equity fund initiated by Europe's Noaber Foundation) who together picked 39% stake in the Mumbai-based VC firm for around Rs 18.3 crore. Besides, Dutch foundation CORDAID invested Rs 4.25 crore taking its total capital commitments in Aavishkaar to Rs 10.4 crore.
This transaction with multiple investors had taken place in June 2008 but the clearance from FIPB (the government body which clears investment into India) happened in January. Other investors in
Aavishkaar Micro VC Fund (which was initially set up as a trust under Indian Trust Act and now has a VC form registered as an advisory company with SEBI) include I-banking firm Enam Capital and public sector rural development finance agency NABARD.
Aavishkaar, which started venture capital operations in May 2002, is led by the Singapore-based parent Aavishkaar International which aggregates individual investments for the Indian fund. It supports rural and semi-urban entrepreneurs with funding, management support, professional expertise, and other resources.
The fund which targets investments with a size ranging between Rs 10 lakh-Rs 1 crore, is estimated to have invested more than Rs 5.55 crore in about a dozen companies engaged in the areas of renewable energy, dairy, healthcare, ICT, agri-implements besides other small and medium sectors.
Some of its existing portfolio companies include Servals Automation (Chennai-based rural technology firm which sells an efficient kerosene burner and micro-irrigation device), Shri Kamadhenu Electronics (involved in technologies for dairy co-operatives), Tide Technocrats (Bangalore-based rural energy solutions firm), Craftsbridge (Pune-based handicrafts firm) among others.