Indian social venture fund, Aavishkaar India II Company (Aavishkaar II), has recently received an investment from Cisco, closing its first round of investment at $70 million through institutional investors including Cisco, IFC, KfW, FMO, and CDC. Aavishkaar II is a $120 million fund investing in rural development across a range of sectors such as agriculture, education, health, and energy.

New Delhi, April 4:

Cisco today announced an investment in Aavishkaar, a venture fund founded to promote development in rural and semi-urban India.

The company will invest in Aavishkaar India II Company Ltd (Aavishkaar II) and will collaborate with other investors to drive sustainable business models with social impact that utilise the power of the network.

Aavishkaar II, a Mauritius-based $120-million fund dedicated to investing in rural India, achieved its first closing at $70 million with corporate investors such as Cisco, along with institutional investors such as IFC, KFW, FMO and CDC participating in the first closing.

The fund would invest in agriculture, education, health and energy sectors. It is advised by Mumbai-based Aavishkaar Venture Management Services Pvt Ltd, which has also advised Aavishkaar India Micro Venture Capital Fund and two other funds in the financial inclusion space.

Over the past few years, Cisco has committed up to $200 million of venture capital investments to the country, of which almost half has been utilised.

Mr Edzard Overbeek, President, Cisco Asia Pacific, Japan and Greater China, said: “Cisco is committed to contributing to the communities where we do business and it’s no different in India where we’ve located our Globalisation Centre East and employ thousands of employees who contribute greatly to our engineering operations.’’