Awaaz De Infosystems Pvt. Ltd, a startup providing mobile solutions to enterprises that focus solely on social programmes, has raised an undisclosed amount of funds from angel investors rounded up by Tribe Impact Capital LLP, a subsidiary of impact-investing firm Aavishkaar-Intellecap Group.
The angel investors include Takeshi Kato, founder of Japan-based impact venture capital firm BWiz Capital; and Paula Mariwala, founder, and Prashant Adurty, investor-member, Stanford Angels & Entrepreneurs India, a Stanford Alumni Association group. Other participants in the angel round include Pravin Gandhi, co-founder of Seedfund Advisors LLP, a venture capital firm; Ajay Balvantray Parekh, director at Pidilite; and Samir Shah, managing principal at early-stage investor Sattva Investment Advisors.
Incubated by the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad’s Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship, Awaaz De plans to use the latest round of funding for scaling up operations in India and hiring new talent.
The startup offers a digital dashboard for group voice messaging, localised content and data tools for agriculture, education, health and other social projects, besides providing field data collection over the phone.
Founded in 2010 by Neil Patel and Tapan Parikh, Awaaz De provides customised solutions for organisations to help communicate with their customers and stakeholders through text and voice messages. Between them, Patel and Parikh have over 15 years of combined experience in design and deploying knowledge-sharing systems
Awaaz De claims to have reached over 1.5 million end-users across 12 countries and over 23 states in India.
Co-founder Neil Patel said, “The next year is a pivotal one for our company as we bring our new product to the market and deepen our work in financial inclusion.”
Awaaz De’s clientele includes private-sector lender Yes Bank; non-banking financial company Nabard Financial Services Ltd, subsidiary of National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development; and Crisil Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of ratings firm Crisil Ltd. Other customers include financial services firm IFMR Rural Channels and Services Pvt. Ltd; Digital Green, which aims to empower small farmers; and Precision Agriculture for Development, a US-based non-profit organisation with a mission to support small farmers in developing countries.
In 2015, Shah led Awaaz De’s seed round of funding, which also saw participation from Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship.
In the past, Awaaz De had also secured funding from non-profit organisation Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, founded by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and wife Melinda Gates. In February 2016, Awaaz De announced on its blog it was a recipient of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation 15th Round Grand Challenges Exploration award for its creative approach.
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