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Japan’s JICA to invest in climate-focused Neev Fund II
Photo Credit: 123RF.com

JICA (Japan’s International Cooperation Agency) has agreed to invest an undisclosed sum in Neev Fund II (SVL-SME Fund), a small-and medium-enterprises (SME) fund focused on climate action, environment sustainability and social impact, the company said in a statement.

The European Investment Bank (EIB), Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), and the SBI Group are among the other investors.

JICA is Japan’s governmental agency that works towards promoting economic and social growth in developing countries.

“Neev II Fund is building the sustainable growth and impact ecosystem for SMEs in India. Neev II Fund will provide equity to SMEs focusing on mitigating climate risks, promoting social development, job creation and gender equality at scale,” said Arun Mehta, MD & CEO, SBI Capital Markets and Non-Executive Chairman, SBICAP Ventures Ltd.

It is understood that the State Bank of India’s private equity (PE) capital arm has also recently scaled up the target for this fund by five times to Rs 2,000 crore.

In May, European Investment Bank (EIB), in one of its first PE investments in India, agreed to invest 100 million euros (Rs 886 crore or $120.5 million) in Neev Fund II, along with SBI.

Under the management of SBI’s group company, SBICAP Ventures, Neev Fund II will provide equity and quasi-equity capital to India’s emerging SMEs.   

By June 2022, SBICap Ventures expects to have the entire fund operational. The process of investing has started. It has invested Rs 275 crore in three companies, two of which are involved in waste management and the other in pollution control technologies.

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