Mumbai-based venture capital & private equity firm Aavishkaar Group, is planning to raise $300 million for its South Asia-focused fund early next year to invest across sector – financial services, agriculture, energy and health, reported LiveMint, in its interaction with one of the firm’s senior executives.
The fund, which is Aavishkaar’s eighth fund, is a follow up to its $75 million Frontier Fund focused on South and South-East Asia. The fund is expected to get its first close by end 2019.
Citing Vineet Rai (in pic above), Managing partner and Chief Executive of Aavishkaar Venture Management Services, the report said that the fund raised will be used to invest in smaller markets in South Asia, namely Vietnam, Indonesia, Myanmar and Laos among others, and larger markets like India and China will consciously be avoided in order tap the unutilized potential of smaller markets.
Aavishkar is however raising two separate funds specifically for India and Africa. It currently raising $200 million Aavishkaar Bharat fund and $150 million Africa fund, which will be Aavishkar’s its first foray into the African market
Vineet Rai further said, “I see Indonesia as the next hub of impact investing. Like India, it has a high density of population and business models are very scalable. It also has a cultural connect and similarities with an evolving private equity/venture capital system.”
The VC firm plans to raise the funds from Asian development finance institutions as well as from sovereign investors in Singapore, Japan, Australia and the UK.
About Aavishkaar’s Bharat Fund, it is touted as the largest India-focused impact fund being raised by a domestic fund manager. While the Africa fund to hit a first close of $60-80 million by April next year. The Bharat fund, which had already achieved a first close of $95 million in November last year, is also expected to hit its final close around April 2019.
Aavishkaar Bharat Fund, which has recently invested ₹40 crore in GoBOLT, a Gurgaon-based logistic tech startup, is backed by institutional investors such as the UK’s development finance institution CDC, Small Industries Development Bank of India (Sidbi), National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) and family offices such as Sunil Munjal of Hero Enterprise, said Rai.
Besides India, Aavishkar had invested in Sri Lanka-based Grasshoppers, a logistics solutions provider, in June last year, through its Aavishkaar Frontier Fund.
In May 2016, Aavishkaar made its inroads in Bangladesh with an investment of $2 million in CloudWell, a payment systems company that provides agent-based last mile payment solutions to a host of service providers such as telecom operators, mobile financial services players and other billers under the brand name ‘PayWell’.
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