Impact investment fund, Ankur Capital, has invested in three early-stage ventures that focus on rural markets. We caught up with Rema Subramanian, one of the co-founders of Ankur Capital at Women in STEM conference to get in insight about impact investing in India.
Rema comes from a finance background and has gradually moved to higher ranks of general management in a career spanning three decades. “I have founded and mentored several companies from growth stage. That’s when I thought about how can I help startups in the social space and provide them with management skills.” said Rema.
Tech startups space is well defined globally and in India. “If you want to develop an app or a website you most likely know who to approach for funding and mentoring.”
The brick and mortar startup ecosystem is broken and they find it difficult to source funding for their business.
In India there is a surge in the income levels in lower middle class segment. According to report from McKinsey there is a potential business opportunity of USD 69 billion, annually, to cater services to lower income segment people. This can result in formation of 200-500 companies in India which can serve this segment.
“Both of us started the fund 3 years back. We look at companies at a seed level and help them scale their business. We help these startups acquire customers, build their marketing strategy etc. We don’t want to incubate business and work on excel sheets. We prefer to have on the ground action and build business.” said Rema.
Investments In Startups
Ankur Capital’s first fund will look to make 20 investments, with an average investment period of five years. For follow-on rounds of funding, the fund will invest between Rs 2 crore and Rs 4 crore in each investee company while aiming for gross return on investments of about 15 per cent.
Ankur Capital has invested in 3 companies till date.
CropIn – A Cloud based farm management systems that brings global markets to small farmers. The startup has helped to increase the yields by 10-15%, reduce losses by 60%reduction through timely interventions.
ERC – Low cost eye care company in North East India. Primary eyecare center in remote villages in Assam. 20 % population has eye defects, problems can be sorted with simple solutions like spectacles, and cataract surgery. People are willing to pay for these services but they don’t have access to the facilities
Daily Dump – Home composting solutions sourced in rural India. This initiative has managed to keep 2.5T of garbage out of landfills, 60+ rural artisans engaged, Rs.4388 average increase in monthly income for potters.
The startups have issued convertible debt to the fund, which will invest about Rs 50 lakh in each company for about a 30 per cent stake.
If you invest in Ankur Capital fund you have right to invest in the company in the upcoming rounds. “We would move out of these companies in 5 years. Investors can co-invest and continue to be part of the businesses. Create ecosystem for non-tech startups. Technology is leveraged however it is not the main focus.” said Rema
Reach out to Ankur Capital here