Mumbai: Aavishkaar Capital, the impact investing arm of the Aavishkaar Group, has raised Rs 1,000 crore ($130 million) towards the first close of its eighth impact fund.
The final close, topping $200 million (or Rs 1,500 crore), is expected by the end of the current calendar year, a senior executive told ET.
Across its eight funds, the group now has total assets under management of Rs 4,000 crore.
It also has two credit vehicles through which it lends.
The new fund is the group’s sixth India-focused investment vehicle.
The new fund is also 2x certified, meaning almost 30% of the money has to be invested in meeting gender diversity goals by backing companies having women founders or at senior leadership roles or with products catering to women.
The fund will also actively invest in companies that solve issues such as climate change, the executive said.
About 50% of the new fund has come from domestic investors such as Small and Industries Development Bank of India (Sidbi), Self-Reliant India, or SRI Fund, Max Life, Axis Bank, family offices and Ultra High Net-worth Individuals among others, said Tarun Mehta, partner, Aavishkaar Capital.
The fund is anchored by British International Investment (formerly known as CDC Group Plc) and Swiss Investment Fund for Emerging Markets (SIFEM AG),
The fund will invest in 13-15 businesses, largely micro, small and medium enterprises, with technology as a key enabler in the core sectors of sustainable agri-tech, financial inclusion and essential services with a focus on climate tech. The cheque sizes will range from $10 million to $25 million.
The Alternative India Fund-VI will be led by Aavishkaar Capital partners Vineet Rai, Sushma Kaushik, Anurag Agrawal and Mehta.
“Aavishkaar’s proven track record in delivering impact positions it as an important co-investing partner with proven ability to facilitate greater financial support to India’s innovative entrepreneurs in businesses across sustainable agriculture, financial inclusion and essential services,” said Srini Nagarajan, managing director and head of Asia, British International Investment.
Aavishkaar’s Fund V was a Rs 800 crore pool which invested across more than 15 companies.
Since 2008, the group has invested in 62 companies and has secured partial or full exits from 38 portfolio firms.
“We have returned more than half of the capital that we raised since 2008,” Mehta added.
Around 294 impact enterprises received around $6.8 billion in investments across 345 equity deals in 2021, according to the annual research report of India Impact Investors Council (IIC).
Overall impact investments in 2021 exhibited a positive investor outlook with strong signs of renewal and recovery in terms of both the number of deals as well as investment volume relative to 2020 and 2019 levels, the report – ‘2021 in Retrospect: India Impact Investment Trends’ – showed.
“Climate-tech emerged as the most active sector with the maximum number of deals (79). The research highlights that only one out of every five impact enterprises that have raised capital in the last three years (2019, 2020, 2021) are (co) founded by women,” it said.