SEBI approves India's first social venture fund in Gujarat

Last Updated: Mon, Feb 18, 2013 05:48 hrs

Ahmedabad-based Incube Ventures Pvt. Ltd.'s newly launched 'Incube Connect Fund' has received the distinction of being the first social venture fund in the country to be accorded registration by SEBI under SEBI (AIF), Regulations, 2012.

Having recently received SEBI approval as country's first 'social venture fund company', the city-based company has launched its first sector agnostic fund worth Rs 200 crore. The fund will look to invest and incubate ventures that will have social relevance across various sectors.

"Incube has been sponsored by Incube Venture Pvt. Ltd. for primarily incubating, mentoring, providing seed capital and angel investments to nascent business ideas of social ventures, promoting differentiated high social impact technology ventures amongst others. The company has been running a well equipped idea incubation center 'In-Cube' with enabling ecosystem which is currently involved in incubating around half a dozen nascent business ideas of high social relevance," said Mani Iyer, founder and mentor at Incube Ventures Pvt. Ltd., who was a former executive director at Intas Biopharmaceuticals.

The nine-year Rs 200 crore fund will primarily be focused on four sectors; healthcare delivery - product and services, vocational education and skill enhancement, clean energy & eco business and sustainable rural business innovations. "Incube has already developed a healthy deals pipeline and is looking to invest in the projects in these four sectors. Some of the projects that Incube is looking closely at included a geothermal energy project, a project evolving healthcare delivery ecosystem in one of the most backward district of the country, a project for fractionation of blood plasma and an innovative financial model for affordable housing for the vulnerable section of the society," Iyer added.

The company has also incorporated an Advisory Board comprising six members from various fields and domains including HC Pattnaik (GVFL), Nitin Deshmukh (Kotak Private Equity), Biju Varkkey (IIM Ahmedabad), Bhaskar Bhatt (Titan Industries), Madhu Mehta (iCreate) and Vinodh Modha (tax expert).

Meanwhile, the targeted corpus of Incube will primarily be invested in opportunities presented in the space which contributes to social cause significantly. "The objective of Incube is to back entrepreneurs at the bottom of the pyramid in terms of their ability to raise capital, partner them and take them into ecosystem to nurture and grow them to be investors-ready," said Iyer.

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