Impact investor and early-stage venture capital firm Ankur Capital has hit the first close of its second fund at Rs 240 crore (about $33.9 million).
The firm said in a statement it expects Ankur Capital Fund II (ACF II) to reach its target corpus of Rs 350 crore later this year.
CDC Group Plc., the UK’s development finance institution, and the Dutch Good Growth Fund invested in the fund as Limited Partners (LPs). State-run Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), an existing LP, also committed capital to the fund out of its Fund of Funds programme.
ACF II was launched early last year and has former CLSA executive Krishnan Neelakantan as a partner. It will continue to focus on sectors such as agricultural technology, food, vernacular and health, and will also make investments in the financial and education technology segment.
The fund will seek to make up to 18 investments, and Ankur Capital says the investment vehicle will deploy capital to up to eight companies this year.
Rema Subramanian, co-founder and managing partner at Ankur Capital, said the firm was looking to “go deeper” with its investments. “At Ankur, our investment philosophy has always been to support entrepreneurs who are building technology-led solutions for the mass markets,” the company’s other co-founder and managing partner Ritu Verma added.
Separately, CDC director and head of catalyst funds, funds and capital partnerships Sara Taylor said the fund would also help address the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
Ankur Capital, which was established by Subramanian and Verma in 2011, focuses on technologies and product innovations in agriculture, healthcare, and education, among others, to create large-scale impact.
Its first fund had invested in 14 companies including Cropin, Niramai, Healthsutra, ERC, and StringBio. In July last year, the firm invested in a healthy snack-focussed food manufacturer based out of North India.
In April 2018, Ankur Capital had invested an undisclosed amount in medical herbs supplier Carmel Organics Pvt. Ltd. Prior to that, it backed Agricxlab, an agri-tech venture that uses a smartphone imaging to assess the quality of agriculture products.