Aavishkaar to raise $300M for new India fund, ups target for frontier mkts fund to $75M

Aavishkaar Venture Management, a venture capital firm focused on enterprises engaged in India’s rural areas and bottom-of-the-pyramid (BoP) space, is planning to raise $375 million over the next one year in two separate funds, according to a news report by The Economic Times citing the firm's chief.

This includes a frontier markets fund worth $75 million besides a $300 million India-focused fund.

It has already received commitments for around $50 million for its Aavishkaar Frontier Fund and expects to close the fundraising process by the end of March 2015, Vineet Rai, CEO and managing director, Aavishkaar, informed.

This fund is looking at investment opportunities in South and Southeast Asia. Earlier it was eyeing around $60 million but has now upped the target to $75 million. The firm is in the process of raising this separate fund since 2013.

Rai told VCCircle Aavishkaar has some employees stationed in Indonesia and is planning to appoint some people at Bangladesh and Pakistan.

The firm's proposed India fund would be the biggest ever focused on the social sector or impact investments in the country.

Talking about the new India fund Rai added it is not a seed stage fund nor a late-stage investments fund. "We are looking to demonstrate scale in impact investing stage and the new fund would be focused on demonstrating that scale can be achieved in impact space."

Aavishkaar, which invests in sectors like healthcare, water and sanitation, education, agri-business and financial inclusion, has invested in more than 48 enterprises in India over the last decade across eight sectors with 90 per cent of the companies having rural and semi-urban markets as their focus.

It has around $155 million in assets under management and last raised a $95 million fund under Aavishkaar India II in 2013.

Its investments range from Rs 3 crore to Rs 50 crore.

Some of its portfolio companies include Milk Mantra, Ulinks Organics, Zameen, Mera Doctor, Raya Dairy, Vaatsalya Healthcare, Waterlife, Mela Artisans, etc.

Note: This article has been modified to correct some factual mistakes in The Economic Times report.

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