Aavishkaar Emerging India Fund

India Financial services, Manufacturing, Food and agriculture, Infrastructure

Aavishkaar is an Indian venture capital firm that specialises in early stage and expansion capital, particularly in firms that solve problems for low-income populations.

The Aavishkaar Bharat Fund (ABF) was set up in 2001 to invest in early stage companies targeting under-served areas in India.

ABF invests in businesses with high social impact in sectors such as agriculture, financial services, healthcare, waste, sanitation, renewable energy and logistics.

Its funds have made 58 investments across India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Those investments have generated 250,000 jobs and livelihoods and reach 70m beneficiaries, of which more than 50 per cent are women.

This investment was made when British International Investment was named CDC Group.

Our investment

In late 2017, CDC committed $25 million to the fund, which will provide much-needed capital to early stage businesses in parts of India that have been overlooked by the investment community.

Expected impact

Our investment will enable ABF to continue supporting companies that are providing innovative ways of reaching rural areas where the population has limited access to affordable goods and services, servicing the ‘last mile’ in the supply chain.

Its previous investments, for example, include Milk Mantra, a dairy supply chain that manufactures dairy products in Orissa. The business sources from 46,000 smallholder farmers across 400 local collection centres. The milk is then transported to chillers and finally to a processing plant via insulated trucks where it is manufactured into paneer, yoghurt and lassi.

Smallholder farmers sell their milk to Milk Mantra because they are better and more accurately paid, as well as benefiting from advice on best practice from local field officers.

Future investments by Aavishkaar are expected to create similar livelihood opportunities to low-income rural communities.

Environmental and social aspects

The fund manager has a well-established approach to environmental and social management and we will continue to support and monitor its approach as the portfolio grows.

Key facts


Since 2012, we’ve only invested in Africa and South Asia. Investments outside these regions are from our pre-2012 portfolio.

South Asia

We have seven priority sectors. However, we continue to invest outside these sectors, largely in the most challenging regions, as new investment supporting any sector helps to underpin the private sector, and create jobs and livelihoods for people. For funds, the sectors listed here are those the fund has invested in so far.

Financial services, Food and agriculture, Infrastructure, Manufacturing
Investment type

We provide capital in three broad ways: direct equity, debt, and intermediated equity (principally through investment funds).

Intermediated investment
Fund manager:
Aavishkaar Venture Management Services
Start date

For direct investments, this is the date British International Investment committed capital to the business or project.

For funds, this is the date that British International Investment committed capital to the fund.

For underlying fund investments, this is the date that the fund invested capital into the business.e

November 2017

For direct investments, this is the total amount that British International Investment has committed to the business or project (it may be a combination of equity and debt).

For funds, this is the total amount that British International Investment has committed to the fund.


This is the investee company’s place of incorporation; or a fund’s jurisdiction.


Investments made by this fund

  • Active
  • Exited
Investment name Country Region Sector Start date Status
Utkarsh Small Finance Bank

Based in Uttar Pradesh, Utkarsh is a small finance bank which provides financial services to the under-served low-income rural and urban population in north and east India. It started operating back in September 2009, and provides group loans, micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) loans, housing loans and savings accounts to the unbanked population.

View investment details

India South Asia Financial services November 2017 Active
Kottaram Agro Foods India South Asia Food and agriculture January 2018 Exited
Altum Credo Home Finance Pvt Ltd

Altum Credo addresses the home finance needs of customers within low and medium-income groups.

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India South Asia Financial services April 2018 Active
Nepra Resource Management

Nepra Resource Management Pvt. Ltd is engaged in building an organised dry waste (recyclables) supply chain. This would connect the generators (commercial establishments and industrial companies) and collectors of waste to recyclers more efficiently.

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India South Asia Infrastructure June 2018 Active
GoBolt (Camoins Logistics Solution Pvt Ltd) India South Asia Manufacturing September 2018 Active
Ulink AgriTech Private Limited

ULink AgriTech Private Limited provides a technology platform to farmers. The company offers data analysis, farm management, price information, and other services to customers in India.

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India South Asia Food and agriculture March 2019 Active
Nine Root Technologies Private Ltd (Chqbook)

Chqbook.com is a Gurugram and Bengaluru-based fintech start-up, and India's first neobank for small business owners. It offers financial services through its five pillars of banking, khata, lending, insurance, and rewards. It serves more than 800,000 customers across India's top 25 cities .

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India South Asia Financial services February 2020 Active
Ergos Business Solutions Private Limited

Ergos Business Solutions is an integrated supply chain business operating through a network of micro warehouses in rural Bihar in India. It aims to enable market linkages to small farmers in a scalable and cost-effective manner.

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India South Asia Food and agriculture March 2020 Active
Connect India

Connect India, which is based in Bangalore, is a differentiated pan-India logistics delivery network providing last mile access to remote non-urban areas.

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India South Asia Manufacturing July 2020 Active

We are now British International Investment