Aavishkaar to raise $300 mn for Southeast Asia investments
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Impact investment firm Aavishkaar Venture Management Services Ltd is planning to raise $300 million (Rs 2,100 crore) to invest in Southeast Asian countries, a top executive said.

Managing partner and CEO Vineet Rai told the Mint newspaper that the new fund will make investments in Vietnam, Indonesia, Myanmar and Laos, and that it will avoid India and China.

The fund, which will be Aavishkaar’s eight fund so far, will bet on the financial services, agriculture, energy and health sectors, Rai said.

An email query sent to Aavishkaar didn’t elicit any response till the time of filing this article.

The new fund will add muscle to its $75 million Frontier Fund, which is focussed on South and Southeast Asia.

The Frontier Fund has made three investments so far – one each in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Indonesia. It has backed US- and Indonesia-based seafood firm North Atlantic Inc, Sri Lankan food processing company MA's Foods and Bangladesh-based payment solutions provider CloudWell Ltd.

Aavishkaar, as per the report, aims to raise the money for the new fund from sovereign investors in Singapore, Japan, Australia and the UK, besides Asian development finance institutions. The vehicle aims to hit its first close by the end of next year.

The impact investor is parallely raising money for two other vehicles--the $200 million domestic Aavishkaar Bharat Fund and a $150 million Africa fund.

Aavishkaar Bharat Fund has made two investments so far, in Utkarsh Micro Finance and Kottaram Agro Foods.

In November 2017, the investment firm hit the first close of the India fund at $95 million (Rs 620 crore) and is targeting to make the final close at $200 million.

The firm focuses on India's rural areas and the bottom-of-the-pyramid segment. Founded in 2002, Aavishkaar helps entrepreneurs via equity funding, venture debt, microfinance, investment banking intermediation, consulting, research and access to global networks. The group has assets of $400 million under management, and a team of 2,500 people.

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