#218: Unitus Provides Venture Capital To Indian Startups
February 5, 2015 - Read the full Forbes article and watch the interview here: http://onforb.es/1EHDsKc. Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes by clicking here: http://bit.ly/ymotwitunes or on Stitcher by clicking here: http://bit.ly/ymotwstitcher. Unitus, one of the early entrants in microlending in the developing world and, as a result, in impact investing, is continuing to innovate. The Unitus Seed Fund provides venture capital for people near the base of the pyramid in India. Yesterday, Unitus announced a partnership with Pfizer PFE +0.44%, PATH , Manipal Hospitals and Narayana Health to provide up to $85,000 each to healthcare entrepreneurs in India in the form of “non-dilutive” capital. Dave Richards, Managing Director of Unitus Seed Fund, said, “There is a massive seed funding gap in most emerging markets due to a lack of a local culture for high-risk ‘angel’ investing by those with wealth. This is particularly true for high demand/low supply emerging sectors such as education, healthcare, retail, agriculture, water and even many technology driven businesses that have substantial brick-and-mortar elements.” Richards went on to explain their thinking about making these investments to make money for investors. “Some people have suggested that this type of seed funding can only be done by philanthropy. We believe that this can only be done well and scaled if it’s on a for-profit basis. We invest mostly in first-time entrepreneurs seeking to build a venture-backed business. So, we spend a lot of time helping them to understand the whole investor world and perspective and then function as their investment bankers as they seek to raise scale-up capital.” “We believe that many of the next billion dollar businesses delivering affordable products or services in areas such as education, healthcare and livelihoods will be built in India … and then exported,” Richards concluded. Please consider whether a friend or colleague might benefit from this piece and, if so, share it.