Asha Ventures announces first close of debut fund at $50 million

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When Pramod Bhasin and Vikram Gandhi got together in 2015, their goal was to uplift business building for the ‘middle class’. Now, years later, with this vision strong, their impact investment firm Asha Ventures has raised $50 million; to mark the first close of its debut fund – Asha Ventures Fund I. The fund is set to have a total corpus of $100 million.

Asha Ventures - Purpose Led Capital logo

With this close, the fund aims to make Series A investments in startups pursuing sustainability and inclusion themes; in sectors like education, financial services, healthcare, climate, and agriculture. According to the firm, the cheque size will range from $2 million to $10 million.

Asha Ventures will focus on early growth-stage investments. They aim to back four-to-five startups every year for four years, with the tenure of the fund at 8.5 years. The fund has received commitments from the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI); Self-Reliant India (SRI); the family offices of Ajay Parekh of Pidilite Industries; and Nimesh Kampani of JM Financial Group.

“At Asha Ventures, we have demonstrated, since 2015, that doing good while doing well is a scalable investment thesis. The backing of reputed institutions like SIDBI, SRI, and some of India’s largest family offices is a testimony to our track record in this space and gives us a platform to scale up our investments. We are very excited about the opportunity that lies ahead and the role we can play in shaping a more equitable and sustainable future for the country,” said co-founder Vikram Gandhi.

About Asha Ventures

Asha Ventures is led by co-founders Vikram Gandhi and Pramod Bhasin and managing partners Amit Mehta and Aditi Gupta. Gandhi is currently a faculty member of Harvard Business School and also a senior advisor to The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board; while Bhasin is the founder and former CEO of Genpact and former chief executive of GE Capital, India, and Asia.

“We believe this is the perfect time for technology-led inclusive funding models to be built in India and to fund businesses that are solving for key needs around financial inclusion, healthcare, and employability,” said co-founder Pramod Bhasin.

With a vision of building a sustainable and inclusive India, the fund has invested in companies and startups like; Varthana, Vastu Housing Finance Corporation, Adda247, TrueMeds, and Avanti, among many others.

“India’s emerging middle class of 500 million people requires innovative solutions to get access to equitable opportunity. Startups are a key driver of this innovation. Asha Ventures has been a pioneer in catalysing domestic capital to back such startups in the inclusion and sustainability space,” said S. Ramann, Chairman and Managing Director of SIDBI.

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