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Gender-focused VC firm AWE Funds launches Rs 350 Cr maiden India focused funds

Achieving Women Equity (AWE) Funds, a gender-focused investment platform, announced today the launch of its first India fund worth Rs 350 crore. According to the firm, during the next five years, this newly created fund will invest in about 15 start-ups in industries such as healthcare, sustainable energy, agri-food, and fintech.

AWE, located in the United States, stated that it has received investment backing from many international and Indian institutional investors, as well as high-net-worth individuals (HNIs). Among the Indian HNIs who have invested in AWE are Zia Mody, Soumya Rajan (CEO and Founder of Waterfield Advisors), Padma Chandrasekaran (previously of Gates Foundation), and Divya Sampath (formerly of Microsoft, Cognizant, and Service Now).

Seema Chaturvedi, AWE Funds‘ founding partner, commented on the news, pointing out that due to ingrained gender restrictions, women’s engagement in the economy and also as active contributors to the nation’s GDP has been constrained, as seen by low and decreasing labor participation rates. “The need for women to participate in mainstream economic value production has become critical, particularly in light of the general shortage of resources required to accomplish sustainable development goals.” Gender equity activates a tremendous multiplier flywheel effect, mobilizing these limited resources for maximum productivity. “We believe AWE Funds can play a critical role in catalyzing this much-needed transformation,” she added. According to AWE Funds, it has established a goal of empowering 30 million women by 2030 by using a “quantitative threshold-based gender lens gating criterion to invest in women-owned, led, or inspired firms.” AWE Funds “pursues investments at an early stage of an enterprise’s lifecycle (Pre-Series A, Series A equity rounds) and seeks to assist companies in delivering market returns for its investors through the diverse skills of the firm’s investment professionals, strategic partnerships, and the firm’s global network of executives and advisors,” the company said in a statement. The firm claims to have invested around Rs 2,800 crore and has four portfolio firms in categories including fintech, agritech, & health tech.

AWE (Achieving Women Equity) Funds seems to be a fascinating startup with a motivating turn of events on the investment management platform. Best wishes for the new startup business venture. I know that the team worked incredibly hard on it. I wish them great success in the future!

Shishir Gupta, Founder and CEO, StartupLanes

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