Aavishkaar invests in dairy firm HR Food, pre-school venture Nalanda Learning and MeraDoctor

Aavishkaar Venture Management, a venture capital firm focused on India’s rural areas and bottom-of-the-pyramid (BoP) space, has invested around Rs 26.2 crore ($4.17 million) in three companies engaged in dairy business, education and healthcare segments.

This is in addition to its Rs 6 crore (around $1 million) investment in organic textiles maker CAOS Apparels Pvt Ltd, first reported by VCCircle last week.

The other deals relate to dairy firm HR Food, where it has invested Rs 15 crore; Nalanda Learning (Rs 4 crore) besides healthcare service company MeraDoctor where Aavishkaar co-invested Rs 6.2 crore ($1 million) with global impact investor Accion, according to a report in The Economic Times.

Mumbai-based MeraDoctor, founded by Dr Ajay Nair and Gautam Ivatury in 2011, provides healthcare services like consultation with physicians over the phone. The company at present receives medical enquiries from 13 states across the country.

Apart from this, the social venture capital firm has also invested Rs 4 crore in Kolkata-based pre-school venture Nalanda Learning Systems which operates under the name Little Laureates. Nalanda, which currently runs 11 centres, plans to use this fund to set up more than 300 pre-schools across eastern India.

Aavishkaar has also bet on Ranchi-based dairy products company HR Food Processing. HR Food will use this capital to expand its network across the state of Jharkhand.

This is not Aavishkaar’s first investment in the dairy sector. It has previously invested in packaged food company Milk Mantra Dairy, renewable energy company Vana Vidyut, waste management service company Nepra Resources and organic fertiliser manufacturer Ulink BioEnergy.

The social venture firm last year made final close of its second fund Aavishkaar II at $94 million. It invests between Rs 3 crore and Rs 50 crore in early stage ventures operating in country’s low-income states like UP, West Bengal and Bihar. The first fund floated by Aavishkaar raised a corpus of $14 million in 2009.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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