Ashoka University raises $7.6M more from HNIs

Ashoka University, a non-profit private university, has raised Rs 50 crore ($7.6 million) from a group of high net-worth individuals (HNIs), taking the total amount collected from its expanding list of 65 founders-cum-donors to Rs 425 crore to date.

The university raised the fresh funding from former chief of Timex in India, Kapil Kapoor, who currently serves as Info Edge chairman and managing partner at Caldera Pacific Capital Partners; Rahul Mookerjee, MD at YoNao Capital; and Sandeep Gupta, managing partner at Broad Peak Investment Advisers.

Others who put in money are Sat Pal Khattar, founder of Khattar Wong and chairman of Khattar Holdings; Ashok Trivedi, managing partner at SWAT Capital and co-founder of IGATE; and Anita Manwani, CEO of Carobar Business Solutions.

Located at Kundli in Haryana, the university is looking to raise another Rs 325 crore in the next 18 months and add 35 more donors to its list. Initially, it planned to garner nearly Rs 400 crore in funding. It has now raised the target to Rs 750 crore.

The university, which started its operations last year, is backed by a host of top industrialists and entrepreneurs.

The organisation's spokesperson told VCCircle the fresh capital will be used mainly to hire faculty, expand existing infrastructure to accommodate more students and offer scholarships to them.

The university has 570 students, including 361 in undergraduate courses. It also has 198 students under the Young India Fellowship (YIF), the postgraduate programme in liberal studies, and 11 pursuing the Master of Liberal Studies programme, which is an extension to YIF. It has 42 full-time faculty and 20 visiting faculty members from around the world.

The development was first reported by The Economic Times citing one of the university's key founders Ashish Dhawan, co-founder and former senior managing director of PE firm ChrysCapital. Dhawan, who has left his full-time role at ChrysCapital, is now more closely involved with his education-focused venture philanthropy fund and policy think tank Capital Square Foundation.

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