Unitus Seed fund raises $8 million from Khosla, Mohandas Pai and Mike Murray to back Indian BOP startups
Unitus Seed Fund has secured over $8 million in investment commitments for its seed-stage venture capital fund for startups that work for the bottom of the pyramid serving low-income consumers in India.
The seed fund, part of the Unitus group which develops market based soultions for the BOP, has also hired a group of venture advisors to mentor portfolio companies, the company said.
Impact investors such as Mike Murray, the co-founder of microfinance pioneer Unitus Labs, Vinod Khosla, the founder, Khosla Ventures and Khosla Impact, 500 Startups, and others like former Infosys top executive TV Mohandas Pai, CEO of Manipal group Ranjan Pai are co-investors in the fund.
Unitus has invested in companies like Hippocampus Learning Centers and others such as Milaap and Madrat Games. The fund wants to invest in 30- 40 “BOP startups” in India over the next four years.
In July, the seed fund which was launched in late 2011 announced that it had plans to expand its investment program.
Earlier, we reported that veteran Silicon Valley investor Vinod Khosla is starting an incubator in India and has hired former technology head of the Unique Identification Authority of India as the Chief Executive Officer of the incubator.
Khosla’s incubator, headed by Srikanth Nadhamuni, will also focus on BOP startups.
Dave McClure of 500Startups has also set up a $5 million micro fund to back Indian startups in November. McCLure had announced his plans to increase his startup acclerator’s focus in India and is looking to back more than 50 Indian startups this year.