US-based Soros Economic Development Fund (SEDF) has committed an additional investment of $15 million to Bangalore-based early stage investment firm Aspada Investment Company to expand support early-stage businesses in India, the company said on Tuesday.
SEDF, a $350 million not-for-profit investment fund, had initially infused $10 million in Aspada in April last year. The funding was to back early-stage businesses to make education, healthcare and financial services more accessible to low-income people in India.
“SEDF is more than doubling its investment in Aspada to increase support for innovative Indian enterprises that promote economic growth and sustainable impact,” said Fawzia Naqvi, a vice president at SEDF and the India investment lead.
“Our increased investment in Aspada will help local business ventures thrive and continue to make critical services and affordable goods available to a broader range of people in India,” he added.
Aspada, led by Kartik Srivatsa and Thomas Hyland, provides early-stage risk capital to businesses that help expand market access, improve livelihood and create large-scale employment opportunities in underserved communities.
It makes both equity and debt-like self-liquidating investments and backs agricultural supply chain companies in an effort to support small farmers. Its target sectors include healthcare delivery, agricultural supply chains, education, logistics, and financial services.
“We are delighted to have the continued support of the Soros Economic Development Fund, our anchor investor, to further build the Aspada platform,” said Thomas Hyland.
Last month, Aspada invested around Rs 10 crore ($1.6 million) in NeoGrowth Credit, a provider of working capital loans and inventory financing for small merchants (SMEs) in India. Also, in January, the company invested Rs 10 crore ($1.6 million) in Gurgaon-based supply chain services firm ThinkLink Supply Chain Services.
Aspada is SEDF’s second investment vehicle in India. Earlier, SEDF had created $17 million SONG Fund, along with Omidyar Network, Google and Indian School of Business. Aspada also advises the portfolio of SONG Fund.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)