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Varthana, a non-banking finance company that provides debt financing and solutions to private schools that enrol students from low income families, has secured Rs 93 crore ($14 million) in Series-B funds from a clutch of investors led by Kaizen Private Equity and Zephyr Peacock India.

“In Silicon Valley, the general investment thesis for a technology investor tends to be around how strong a company’s underlying technology is and how defensible it will be over time,” Will Poole, Unitus Seed’s co-founder, explained later. “Very rarely does a venture capital investor invest in an operating business that does not have an intellectual property moat.”

NDTV Prime has launched ‘The Real Deal’, a television show and 360 degree media property on impact investing and social entrepreneurship. The show will premiere on March 24, 2016 and will be aired every Friday at 9 pm, March 25 onwards. Asha Impact is the investment partner of the Real Deal with Kartik Desai participating as a member of the high-profile jury.

Sir Ronald Cohen is chairman of the Global Social Impact Investment Steering Group with 13 countries—the G8, India, Israel, Brazil, Mexico and Portugal—as partners. He is in India to attend three round tables in Delhi (hosted by Asha Impact), Mumbai and Bengaluru to discuss and explore the potential of the impact investing sector in India.

Many people are confused by the overlap of impact investing with venture philanthropy, socially responsible investing (SRI), corporate social responsibility (CSR).

Acumen, a global non-profit investment organisation focused on poverty issues, has partnered with Vikram Gandhi, founder of Asha Impact platform to address India's developmental challenges, and Pramod Bhasin, former CEO of Genpact, to invest $2.5 million in biomass cooking stove maker Greenway Appliances.

Mumbai-based test prep startup Avanti Learning Centres has secured Rs 33.1 crore in third round of funding led by the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation along with Asha Impact and existing co-investors Ted Dintersmith and Pearson Affordable Learning Fund (PALF). The company plans to use the investment to expand to 400 centres with capacity to serve 50,000 students across India and continue their curriculum and technology development.

Two FinTech start-ups, Shiksha Finance and Catalyst Labs, have been selected by the peers in December to receive $50,000 each in investment from Village Capital and co-investment partner Asha Impact.

16 October, 2015

A growing population of professional angel investors are infusing money into Indian start-ups. MintAsia examines the phenomenon that’s playing a central role in driving the start-up ecosystem.

The company has concluded its first round of fundraising of Rs 40 crore, with investments from marquee domestic investors, including former Credit Suisse vice-chairman Vikram Gandhi and Genpact founder Pramod Bhasin, who have together put in Rs 4 crore into the venture.

Unitus Seed Fund, which has backed start-ups including online micro-lending platform Milaap and retailer Caravan Craft, has received investments from Genpact founder and former chief executive Pramod Bhasin and former vice-chairman of investment banking and global head of the financial institutions group at Credit Suisse Vikram Gandhi.

India is a hub of social entrepreneurship activity and a testing ground for scalable, innovative and inclusive business models - first, due to the variety and extent of its problems, and secondly, because of its thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Intellcap’s initiative Sankalp Forum has announced 14 finalists of the 2014 event of Sankalp Awards, who are cumulatively looking at raising Rs.40 crore in impact investment. The categories the finalists were shortlisted from are agriculture, food and livelihood; clean energy and technology; health, water and sanitation, education and vocational training; financial inclusion; technology for development; and women empowerment.

With the impending announcement of the Sardar Patel National Housing Mission, which has received cabinet approval and is ready to be announced pending inputs on the rural dimension of affordable housing, the issue of low-cost housing has acquired significant visibility.

Janaadhar (India) Pvt. ltd, one of India’s few pure-play Affordable Housing companies, announced the closing of Rs 54 crore round of capital raise. The round was led by Treeline Asia Master Fund (Singapore), a leading hedge fund based out of Hong Kong and Singapore. Narayan Ramachandran, ex-Country Head of Morgan Stanley India, Vallabh Bhansali, veteran market expert, and Vikram Gandhi, a globally respected investment banker who recently returned to India to work on social impact initiatives, also invested in this round.

With President Obama concluding a successful visit to Delhi, the Indo-US bilateral agenda is now poised to move ahead on nuclear and renewable energy, defence collaboration, trade and investment and several other important issues.

Angel investments in India have been on the rise in the past couple of years, driven by technology entrepreneurs and corporate honchos willing to back early-stage ideas with risk capital. Enter TermSheet, Asha Impact and Applyifi — a breed of startups that has sprung up to help other startups.

November 24, 2014

Vikram Gandhi, an investment banker whose career spans two decades with Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley, doesn’t fit in with the stereotypical notion of the Wall Street dealmaker, always on the lookout for the next big deal (and bonus!). Gandhi now splits his time equally between high finance and making a social impact.

The prime minister’s Jan Dhan Yojana (JDY) is, in many ways, an improvement over previous financial-inclusion schemes. And with an aggressive target to cover 15 crore households with basic banking services, including an overdraft facility, debit card as well as accident and life insurance cover, it is the most ambitious attempt yet.

One hundred and fifty million new bank accounts within a year, 60,000 new business correspondents, a new credit guarantee fund, an overdraft facility for households completing a financial literacy programme - these are part of the new government's Sampoorn Vittiya Samaveshan Mission (Full Financial Inclusion Mission) that Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on August 15.