Aavishkaar Capital-backed ESG First Fund is looking to secure $120 million in a fund-raising round by the end of this year amid plans to increase its investments in Asia and Africa.
The fund has so far raised $55 million in partnership with KfW of Germany, according to Managing Partner Ashish Patel. It plans to reach a target of getting $248 million in the next 18 months.
The company based in Mumbai and Kenyan capital, Nairobi, is focused on investing in Asian and African growth businesses that promise strong sustainability and financial outcomes.
The fund is in talks with businesses in Kenya, where it sees a “huge opportunity” in women entrepreneurs, Patel said in an interview. It also plans to expand into Nigeria and South Africa from the end of this year, Patel said.
ESG First Fund will invest $2 million to about $8 million in businesses with annual revenues of not more than $50 million, according to Patel.
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The company will only consider putting money in startups that have operated for more than three years and are generating revenue. “Those are the businesses that can now look at the export market,” Patel said.