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Nabard floats $100 mn VC fund for rural, agriculture startups
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Nabventures Ltd, a subsidiary of the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard), has floated a Rs 700 crore (about $100 million) venture capital fund to invest in rural and agriculture-focussed startups.

This is the first time the developmental institution has launched a fund of its own; until now Nabard had been investing in other VC funds as a limited partner.

The new fund has a base size of Rs 500 crore and an overallotment option of Rs 200 crore, multiple media reports said on Monday, citing a company statement.

The fund has hit its first close with Nabard making the anchor commitment, the statement said. It didn’t disclose the amount Nabard invested or the identities of other limited partners.

Nabard chairman Harsh Kumar Bhanwala said the fund will help boost the agricultural and rural ecosystem. So far, the state-run financial institution has invested Rs 273 crore in 16 alternative investment funds, the statement said.

Nabard typically invests in funds that have achieved their first close and have a maximum life period of 10 years. In 2017-18, it invested in three new funds. It committed Rs 10 crore each to IFMR Fimpact Long-Term Fund and Orios Partners and Rs 25 crore to Aavishkaar Bharat Fund, according to its annual report.

Its commitments have resulted in investments to the tune of Rs 791 crore in 37 portfolio companies that have a direct or indirect impact on agriculture and rural development, the annual report showed.

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