Global impact investor Social Finance has launched two India focused funds, targeting a corpus of around ₹7,400 crores ($1 billion) each.
The first fund is called the India Education Outcomes Fund, will be focused on improving the quality of education in India. It will leverage technology to improve learning outcomes in subjects like mathematics for children in grades 6-10. The fund will look to enhance the learning experience for students in grades 1-3, along with improving completion rates for girls in government and affordable private schools.
The second fund is called India Impact Fund, the fund will be raised in partnership with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDG) Finance Group. It will be focused on bridging funding gaps, to accelerate debt financing for impact enterprises, working towards UN SDG. India Impact Fund will target equity funding for small lenders in priority sectors like agriculture, MSME, housing, social infrastructure, and renewable energy.
The objectives of both the funds are in line with Indian Government’s initiatives like Make in India, Skill India, Swachh Bharat, Digital India, and Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana. Along with announcing the new funds, the Social Finance India also announced the appointment of Govind Sankaranarayanan as its CEO. He is an alumnus of IIMBangalore and has previously worked with Tata Capital, serving as its COO.
Speaking about the launch, Mr Govind Sankaranarayanan, MD and CEO, Social Finance India said, “India is ground zero for meeting the challenges of the UN SDG goals and Social Finance India will catalyze different types of innovative financial instruments and financial intermediaries to help bridge funding gaps across a range of sectors. An important part of this effort will be the sharpening of our focus on outcomes and improving the sophistication of impact measurement.”
Social Finance India is a new catalytic impact investment intermediary, creating products for positive social change and environmental outcomes in India. It is a part of the global Social Finance Network.
Tata Trusts and Omidyar Network have backed Social Finance India. The board of Social Finance India comprises of IDFC Bank founder Rajiv Lall, Ashish Dhawan, founder of Chrys Capital, and Vikram Gandhi, former vice chairman of Credit Suisse.