Kolkata-based IT solutions startup iMerit secures funding from Omidyar Network

iMerit Technology Services, a Kolkata-based ITeS firm providing customised business process solutions to enterprises, has secured an undisclosed first round of funding from Omidyar Network,a global investment firm mainly focusing on impact ventures.

Post investment, Omidyar will hold an equity stake in iMerit and its partner and managing director Jayant Sinha will join the board of the firm.

iMerit will use the money to scale its operations, open additional project centres and expand its senior management team. “A part of the money will be used to expand our technology infrastructure as well as to market products,” iMerit CEO Radha Ramaswamy Basu told VCCircle.

Set up in April 2011 by Radha, iMerit delivers web-enabled IT services work including document management, multimedia, global services desk, design solutions, finance and accounting, across the globe. The company hires young talents (mostly students who have completed secondary education) from backward communities in rural India and provides market-aligned skill training (MAST) programme. After completing MAST programme, graduates work in partnering iMerit centers that handle large IT projects.

iMerit claims to have created over 200 jobs that support more than 1,000 individuals from low-income families and marginalised sections of society. The company is now looking to expand to other parts of India as well as to the other Asian countries like the Middle East. iMerit’s key clients include ad agency Oxygen Pvt Ltd, e-publishing services firm Aptara and international humanitarian agency Catholic Relief Services.

“Jobs are getting specialised and companies are looking for ways to have it performed cost effectively. There are many segments of society who are held back due to lack of skills and where they live. With support from Omidyar Network, we believe that these two trends can be addressed in a win-win manner to improve people’s prospects and give firms the resources to profitably go after new business opportunities,” added Radha.

Established in 2004 by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife Pam, Omidyar is a philanthropic investment firm dedicated to harnessing the power of markets to create opportunity for people to improve their lives. Omidyar invests upwards of $1 million in companies. To date, it has committed more than $600 million to for-profit companies and non-profit organisations. Omidyar’s Indian investments include Quikr, Akshara Foundation, Anudip Foundation, HealthKart, EnglishHelper and Teach For India.

“iMerit is creating opportunities for our young population to build skills and create a secure financial future for themselves and their families. We believe iMerit has the potential to rapidly scale and improve lives of thousands of youth across India,” said Jayant Sinha.

(Edited by Prem Udayabhanu)

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