AWE Funds Sets Up INR 350 Cr Pool To Back 15 Women-Focussed Indian Startups

US-based VC firm, Achieving Women Equity (AWE) Funds has launched an INR 350 Cr India-focussed fund to back startups in the country. 

The fund will invest between INR 3.5 Cr and INR 20 Cr in nearly 15 women-focussed startups that are working in healthcare, climate and sustainability, food and agriculture, education and fintech sectors in the next five years.

So far, the fund has received commitments of INR 130 Cr from marquee Indian and international limited partners and high-net individuals including Zia Mody from AZB & Partners, Soumya Rajan from Waterfield Advisors, Padma Chandrasekaran and Divya  Sampath, among others.

“We have been investing with a gender lens that delivers sustainable economic development and commercial returns. Our richly experienced on-the-ground team in India will help us successfully champion a gender-inclusive ecosystem,” said Seema Chaturvedi, founding partner of AWE Funds.

AWE Funds is a venture equity platform that essentially invests in startups or organisations promoting gender equity and sustainability. It backs early-stage and growth-stage startups working in diverse sectors.

“The need for women to join the mainstream economic value creation has gained serious urgency. Gender equity unleashes a massive multiplier flywheel effect to mobilize these scarce resources for maximal output. We believe that AWE Funds can play a very positive role in catalysing this much-required change at a stage when it is most impactful through an effective allocation of capital,” Chaturvedi said.

AWE Funds aims to empower 30 Mn women by infusing money into women-led or women-focussed startups. So far, it has backed four startups– agritech startup Freshokartz Agri, fintech startup Agam International, and healthtech startups Velmeni.ai and Blackburn Technologies.

AWE Funds’ team holds years of experience working in India and the US. The team has together made investments up to INR 2800 Cr so far, according to the VC firm.

In the past few months, a series of venture capital funds were launched to back early-stage and growth-stage Indian startups. In July, LetsVenture’s cofounder Shanti Mohan rolled out a micro VC fund called Propell to back 30 early-stage tech-enabled startups. 

In June, KKR’s advisor Sanjay Nayar launched a VC fund to invest in early-stage Indian startups. During the same time, Fundamental VC set up a $130 Mn sector-agnostic VC fund to invest in Indian startups. 

 AWE Funds Sets Up INR 350 Cr Pool To Back 15 Women-Focussed Indian Startups.I wish you great success in this endeavour.

Shishir Gupta, Founder and CEO, StartupLanes

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