British International Investment
10 May 2019

We have doubled our fund commitment in Asia to tackle environmental and resource challenges

  • We anchored the GEF South Asia Growth Fund II (SAGF) with US$25 million, addressing serious resource scarcity issues.

  • We committed US$15 million Omnivore Partners India Fund II (Omnivore), supporting breakthrough technologies in Indian agriculture.

CDC is the largest investor in both Asian funds. Beyond our capital commitment, we helped advance the processes and capacity of their environmental, social and governance policies, as well as helping SAGF attract further capital from other investors.

GEF South Asia Growth Fund II:

As an anchor investor in SAGF, CDC played a key role in supporting the Fund to reach a first close of US$130 million. Resource scarcity is one of the key challenges in Asia and SAGF is the only private equity fund that supports SMEs operating in the underserved resource efficiency market. Our capital enables SAGF to provide investments to businesses that address cleaner and more efficient production and usage of energy, water and food resources. SAGF is predominantly focused on the Indian market and with additional focus on investing in Bangladesh where the private market is less developed, and capital is scarce. The Fund will be managed by GEF South Asia Advisors in India, a spin-out out from the U.S. based Global Environmental Fund Capital Advisors. Its Indian team has a strong track record; we worked closely to strengthen governance, attract further investors and shape their environmental, social and governance capability.


Our capital commitment to Omnivore’s US$97 million Fund II will help support early stage Indian companies develop breakthrough technology-enabled solutions for food, agriculture and the rural economy. The Fund has already invested in five high growth businesses including TartanSense, an agricultural robotics start-up that builds low-cost, semi-autonomous farm robots which integrate computer vision with precision sprayers for weed control, insect control, and disease control.

Agriculture plays a pivotal role for India in terms of economic growth and poverty alleviation. India’s agriculture sector is dominated by small-scale farming which represents 49% of total employment. In addition, demand on agriculture production is steadily increasing due to India’s growing population, rising income levels, and evolving food habits (from grains to higher-value produce).

Alagappan Murugappan, Managing Director, Asia Funds and Capital Partnerships commented:

“This demonstrates our commitment in providing long-term capital to effect real improvements in people’s lives. Both funds are mandated to invest in local SMEs that innovatively tackle key environmental and social challenges in Asia. Direct access to water, food and clean energy are the pillars on which to build strong and healthy communities.

CDC has made a number of recent investments in India, attracting fresh capital to Ayana, the renewable energy platform we founded, and investing in Aavas Financiers Limited, one of India’s leading affordable housing finance companies. I am excited by this investment momentum and the subsequent impact we are dedicated to delivering over many generations.”


Media Contact:
Clare Murray, CDC Group, +44 207 036 4353 [email protected]

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