Unitus Seed Fund expands footprint across India, appoints seven 'startup scouts'


Unitus Seed Fund is a $20 million seed-stage investment fund based in Bangalore and Seattle that invests in startups serving large, underserved low-income populations. The fund was started in 2012 and intends to invest in 8-10 companies every year. Unitus Seed Fund recently announced the appointment of seven regional Startup Scouts to expand its entrepreneur outreach into more parts of India. Unitus now has new presence across India’s West, East, and North in addition to a broader presence in the South. Scouts are now on the ground in Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Maharashtra, Delhi/NRC, Uttar Pradesh & Rajasthan.“Over the past 6 months, we have conducted a 9 city roadshow across India to research investing opportunities in other regions,” said Srikrishna Ramamoorthy, Partner, Unitus Seed Fund. “We were so excited about the entrepreneurial talent and emerging startup ecosystems we found, that we’ve decided to setup a presence in multiple regions to tap into this opportunity as part of our India Impact Acceleration Program.” The scouts will be actively participating in the local startup community and developing relationships and partnerships with other local investors, angel groups, entrepreneur groups, business incubators/accelerators, higher education institutions, etc. (here are the scouts)

This India Impact Acceleration Program (IIAP) has three pillars: scouting for startups across the country, improving the incubator ecosystem, and helping portfolio companies thrive. Unitus looks at addressing the BoP markets and targets sectors including healthcare, education, mobile commerce & value-added services, marketplaces & e-commerce, retail & distribution, agriculture, and water & energy. Here are the companies it has invested in till date:

AddressHealth: Comprehensive Pediatric Healthcare Clinics Partnering with Schools

Caravan Craft: Contemporary merchandise from traditional Indian artisans

Commerzpoint: Online marketplace for healthcare services

GoCoop: Online Marketplace for Cooperatives and Community-based enterprises

Hippocampus: Affordable, quality schools and tutoring for rural India

iStar: Employability and placement services for college students

Jack on Block: Home and small business facility services

Jiffstore: Mobile app bringing local groceries to your door

mGaadi: M-Commerce solution for ordering auto rickshaws

Milaap: Online crowd-fundraising platform for microloans

Smile Merchants: Affordable dental clinics in rural India

Villgro: Sustainable agriculture IP company

Welcare: Preventing blindness through affordable eye screening solutions

The scouts program will let Unitus increase its reach and make it more accessible to the social entrepreneurs across India. The social enterprise space is witnessing a positive move forward and we're tracking the space via our microsite dedicated to social entrepreneurship - social.yourstory.com

Visit the Unitus Seed Fund site and keep watching Social Story for more developments.


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