Impact investment firm Asha Impact exits Varthana with 5x returns in 3 yrs

| May 2018

Impact investment and policy advocacy platform Asha Impact has exited its stake in Bengaluru-based NBFC Varthana, clocking steady returns on the investment made less than three years ago.

How Pramod Bhasin and Vikram Gandhi minted money in Asha Impact’s Varthana exit

| May 2018

Investment banker Vikram Gandhi and former chief executive officer of IT services major Genpact, Pramod Bhasin, struck a multi-bagger exit from Bengaluru-based school finance company Thirumeni Finance Pvt. Ltd, which operates under the Varthana brand.

Blockbuster exit for Asha Impact from NBFC Varthana

| May 2018

Impact investment and policy advocacy platform Asha Impact has exited its stake in Bengaluru-based NBFC Varthana, clocking steady returns on the investment made less than three years ago. The sale of its minority stake in Varthana to private equity firm ChrysCapital Advisors and some of the other existing investors has fetched Asha Impact a return of over five times on its investment of Rs 4 crore made in 2015, thus accruing it well over Rs 20 crore, according to people familiar with the deal.

Varthana raises Rs350 crore from ChrysCapital Advisors, others

| April 2018

ChrysCapital Advisors Llp, the largest home-grown private equity (PE) fund, has acquired a significant minority stake in Thirumeni Finance Pvt. Ltd, a Bengaluru-based non-banking financial company (NBFC) that operates under the name Varthana, according to senior executive.

2018 W-Power Trailblazers : For Wilma Rodrigues, trash is treasure

| March 2018

Investors are upbeat about the prospects of the million-dollar (by annual revenues) company. “Saahas is one of the few enterprises in the Indian waste management space to have a scalable business model,” says Vikram Gandhi, founder, Asha Impact, an impact fund that invested an undisclosed sum in the venture last year. “The company is on track to achieve profitability.”

2018 W-Power Trailblazers: Neha Juneja's biomass stoves ensure rural India breathes easy

| March 2018

Neha Juneja and Ankit Mathur were batchmates at Delhi College of Engineering between 2002 and 2006. After their first venture, Aisapaisa.com, a portal that provided futures and options prices, went bust during the 2008 financial crisis, they began exploring business opportunities in everyday problems.The company has sold about 8 lakh units of its biomass stoves made of steel and aluminum that emit 70 percent less smoke and consume about 50 percent less fuel than conventional mud variants across India and South America. The company clocked ?25 crore in revenue in FY17.

Varthana raises $3 million from Dell Foundation to expand its school transformation program

| October 2017

Bengaluru-based school finance company Varthana has raised $3 million in funding from the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation to expand its school transformation program (STP). The programme is aimed at improving the quality of learning in private schools by extending credit facilities.

A paperless growth in housing finance

| March 2017

Vastu Housing Finance is trying to leverage technology to establish and distinguish itself.

Where are Indian incubators and accelerators lacking? VCs share their thoughts at Incubator Connect

| March 2017

Names like Airbnb, Dropbox, Zenefits, Instacart, and Reddit are among the billion-dollar companies that were incubated by Y Combinator at an early stage. Since 2005, Y Combinator, a California-based seed accelerator, has funded over 1,400 startups, which today have a combined valuation of over $80 billion.

Seed-funding enterprises is where our heart is

| March 2017

We will continue to do more of the same, which is very early-stage or seed-stage investing in businesses that are serving the masses or are serving large numbers of low-income population,” says Srikrishna Ramamoorthy, Partner, Unitus Seed Fund, a seed-stage venture fund based in Bengaluru.

Banking on social impact

| February 2017

At the age of 9 or 10, when most children were busy playing cricket or football on weekends, Vikram Gandhi taught English to 5- to -6 year-olds at an orphanage at Byculla in Mumbai called Asha Daan. It was during those days that the concept of community service got embedded in his impressionable mind.

Affordable housing: A play of finance, land, design and technology

| January 2017

On New Year’s Eve, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a set of populous measures to boost the real estate sector especially the affordable housing category. But lowering of interest rate is not the only driver in boosting the much-talked affordable housing category, but it equally needs innovation in land allocation and design and technology.

Unitus Seed Fund is clearing the decks for a second fund to support new-age social ventures

| January 2017

In early 2015, when Unitus Seed Fund announced it would invest in Bengaluru-based startup BetterPlace Safety Solutions, it was another indication that the fund, an impact investment pioneer in India, was ready to ramp up its footprint in the country.

Meet some of India's HNIs who are creating a social impact and enjoying financial returns

| January 2017

According to the Impact Investors Council, the biggest gap in impact investing in India is the lack of funding from domestic investors. The Council estimates that 80-85 percent of impact investments come from overseas.

Future Generali India Life Insurance partners with Vastu Housing Finance Corporation

| January 2017

Future Generali India Life Insurance has recently added a new partner to further grow its Credit Life business. The Company has entered into an agreement with Vastu Housing Finance Corporation Ltd. to offer group credit life insurance through one of its products – Future Generali Loan Suraksha Plan.

How one man is changing the face of housing in rural India

| December 2016

Historians will tell you that an explosion of creativity occurs the moment the world starts complaining that there is nothing left to invent or that the search for solutions to complex problems has come to an end.

Affordable housing is the flavour of the season

| December 2016

What do Anshu Jain, Jaspal Bindra, Gunit Chadha and Pramod Bhasin have in common? They are all global bankers from India. Right? Yes, they have all been high-profile bankers and now they want to dabble in the affordable housing loans segment.

Accion Venture Lab exits Varthana

| November 2016

Accion Venture Lab said Nov. 14 that it sold its stake in Varthana. Bangalore-based Varthana provides specialized loans and support to private schools in India. Varthana raised $14 million in Series B financing in the spring.

CLEANER, HEALTHIER COOKSTOVES MAY — AT LONG LAST — BE CATCHING ON

| October 2016

For about 3 billion of the world’s poorest people, the simple act of cooking dinner is fraught with risk. They burn wood, charcoal, dung or crop waste, often on open fires, fouling the air they breathe.

Greenway Grameen: Cooking without smoke

| October 2016

In more ways than one, 31-year-old Neha Juneja stands out. The co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Greenway Grameen is intelligent, unassuming and sensitive, something one rarely finds in one single person.

Exclusive: Pramod Bhasin, Vikram Gandhi & others invest in Swarna Pragati

| October 2016

Chennai-based housing finance company Swarna Pragati Housing Microfinance Pvt. Ltd has raised an undisclosed amount from a group of investors including Zephyr Peacock, Omidyar Network, Aavishkar Goodwill in a Series B round, a top company executive told VCCircle.

Finally, an inclusive mortgage market?

| August 2016

India’s roughly Rs.10 trillion mortgage market is witnessing a quiet revolution. Even though it has been growing at around 18-19% every year, the size of the market continues to be pretty small—a minuscule portion of India’s gross domestic product—but the interesting development is that around one-third of the new home loans, in terms of units, has started flowing into the low-cost housing segment, where the size of a loan is less than Rs.10 lakh.

Avanti shows a different way of teaching

| June 2016

Sarfaraz Iraque is among the hundreds of thousands of students who aspire to clear the country's coveted entrance exams to enter the elite Indian Institutes of Technology. The 18-year-old is not among the thousands who made it through.

Indian Housing-Loan Company Wins Financial Inclusion Challenge 2016

| June 2016

Swarna Pragati Housing Microfinance Co., an Indian company providing housing loans to the poor, won The Wall Street Journal’s competition on achievements in financial inclusion.

Varthana eyes $1M more to top up Series B funding round

| April 2016

Bangalore-based non-banking finance company (NBFC) Thirumeni Finance Pvt Ltd that operates under the banner of Varthana and lends to affordable private schools, has raised Rs 93 crore ($14 million) in its Series B round of financing led by Kaizen Private Equity and Zephyr Peacock India, as per a company statement.

Varthana bags Rs 93 crore in Series B funding

Economic Times | April 2016

Varthana, a nonbanking finance company (NBFC) that provides debt financing and solutions to private schools that enrol students from lowincome 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.

NDTV Prime Launches 'The Real Deal' Show On Social Entrepreneurship

| March 2016

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. From waste managers, skills development, financial and meal visionaries to farmers and healthcare managers, the contestants will fight it out in a set of innovative challenges that will test skills required to be a social entrepreneur.

How Greenway Grameen Infra became India’s largest producer of cook stoves

| March 2016

Between 2011 and 2012, when Neha Juneja and Ankit Mathur, Co-founders of Greenway Grameen Infra’s Smart Stove, were trying to sell their product in the market and to investors, they were met with a lot of scepticism. Neha recalls,

Getting To The Heart Of Impact Investment In India

| March 2016

More and more people are becoming familiar with the related concepts of impact investing and social entrepreneurship. These ideas are commanding increasing attention in business, academia and government, and also among the public at large, with hundreds of articles and dozens of research studies.

This Kanpur lad is raising money to fund his studies at MIT

| February 2016

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho is Ayush Sharma’s favourite book. “It reminds me of one of the most important lessons in my life, that I should always pursue my goals and destiny, and engage in the quest of greater purpose and fulfilment,” he shares.

Impact start-ups’ quest for funds

| February 2016

Aasaanjobs’ fund-raising journey has been a bit different so far from most impact start-ups. Last January, the Mumbai-based company picked up $1.5 million in seed capital from Inventus Capital Partners and IDG Ventures India. Both are mainstream venture capital firms and generally don’t back businesses that focus on consumers at the bottom half of the pyramid.

Biomass stove maker Greenway raises $2.5M from Pramod Bhasin, others

| February 2016

Mumbai-based biomass cooking stove maker Greenway Appliances has secured $2.5 million as part of a Series A round of funding from former Genpact CEO Pramod Bhasin and others, according to a report by The Economic Times.

Avanti Learning Centres raises $5M from MSDF, others

VC Circle | February 2016

Michael & Susan Dell Foundation (MSDF) has led a Rs 33.1 crore (around $5 million) round of funding in Delhi-based test prep startup Avanti Learning Centres. Avanti will use the funds to expand its centres and to develop its curriculum and technology.

Mumbai-based Avanti Learning Centres raises Rs 33 Cr funding from Michael & Susan Dell Foundation

| February 2016

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).

Multiples Alternatives, former senior bankers to invest over Rs 100 crore in Mumbai-based Vastu Housing

Economic Times | December 2015

Local private equity fund Multiples Alternatives, along with a clutch of former senior bankers, will invest over Rs 100 crore in Mumbai-based housing finance firm Vastu Housing Finance Corp to own 95% stake in the start-up firm relaunched by senior bankers.

Are VCs missing out on a huge India opportunity?

| February 2014

Is it possible to thrive financially, while benefiting society? Investors seem to be warming up to this idea, but very slowly.