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Villgro launches Rs 20-crore incubation fund

PUNE: Impact investment firm Villgro has announced a Rs 20-crore fund targeted at incubating education startups.
In the initial phase, Villgro will incubate and fund about 12 startups working primarily in areas pertaining to improving learning outcomes for school-going children and skills training for urban youth. It has partnered with the US-based Michael and Susan Dell Foundation (MSDF) for this initiative. "In the education field, lots of exciting changes are happening, but innovative ideas targeted at the bottom of the pyramid segment has not taken place on a big scale," said PR Ganapathy, COO of Villgro.

"Since MSDF is heavily focused on the education for the poor in India, they approached us to work together to encourage startups in this area." "We have seen Villgro's model of incubation work very well in the agri and energy sectors, and wanted to extend this model to the education sector, wherein we can incubate and mentor social education startups to innovate without worrying about raising funds," said Ganapathy.

MSDF has given part of the Rs 20 crore as donor grants to Villgro and will be investing the rest of the money in the social impact fund.