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Social enterprise incubator Villgro sets aside Rs 3.5 Cr corpus for social enterprises

Shruthi Mohan
13th Dec 2018
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At Villgro’s iPitch, the funding per enterprise varied from Rs 25 lakh to Rs 50 lakh, and the enterprises were shortlisted from nearly 1,200 applications.

Villgro, the social enterprise incubator, recently announced a seed funding of over Rs 3.5 crore to help social enterprises. Villgro’s iPitch, a national discovery programme, has shortlisted nearly 12 enterprises through which it unearths the most innovative and impactful for-profit social enterprises across India. Some of Villgro’s focus areas include education and employability, agribusiness, skill-development, healthcare, arts & crafts, energy and clean-technology.

The funding per enterprise varies from Rs 25 lakh to Rs 50 lakh, and the enterprises were shortlisted from nearly 1,200 applications. The winners, who mostly hail from Tier II and III cities, were then invited for pitching sessions and were part of due diligence and field visits.

These enterprises were chosen by an external committee based on their sectors, the potential to achieve financial sustainability in the long run (business feasibility), enterprises belonging to or are willing to serve Tier II and III cities (scalability), the affordability and accessibility of the product/service that will create direct and tangible impact on the lives of the underserved and poor (social impact), enterprises that are addressing critical problems through unique solutions (innovation) and those that possess a committed team.

Speaking about the second cohort of iPitch, Paul Basil, Founder and CEO of Villgro said,

“IPitch is a platform built on the power of collective capital. The iPitch promise was to guarantee an investment of over Rs 3.5 crore in three months, and that was kept. We got together seven of India’s leading impact incubators to make this happen. One motive in launching a platform like iPitch was to surface innovation beyond metro hubs, and this year, seven of the 12 iPitch investees are from the eight low-income states of India.”

“For incubators - the visibility of the platform allows access to a larger pool of enterprises, whereas for entrepreneurs - the number of investment partners and the size of the capital is attractive. We’re excited about the present cohort because of diversity,” he added.


Also read100 speakers, 600 delegates, Rs 3.5 Cr in investment: meet the social entrepreneurs at Villgro Unconvention

What it takes to scale a social enterprise in India: experts give a rundown


YourStory lists the 12 social enterprises that made it to the final list:

1. Bookmybai

Founded in 2015, this Mumbai-based online platform allows users to hire a permanent domestic help through its online services. The platform, which also helps in hiring cleaners, cooks, babysitters and caretakers for senior citizens, operates out of five cities in India, namely Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru, Kolkata and Ahmedabad.

Founded by Anupam Singal and Vikash Chowdhury, also the Co-founders of Nanojobs, Bookmybai raised Rs 64 lakh from Gray Matters Capital, the impact investment foundation based out of Atlanta, Georgia, and has its arm in Bengaluru, India.

In a conversation with YourStory, Anupam Singal, said;

“Till now, we have placed 50,000 domestic workers, and the recent funding at Villgro’s iPitch will help us source more candidates. We receive demand for around 10,000 workers every month, of which we are able to place only 500. With this addition, we will be able to reach out to more and more workers.”

2. Kozhnosys Pvt Ltd

After raising Rs 30 lakh funding from Venture Center at the event, Kochi-based Kozhnosys Pvt Ltd, a startup that develops biomedical devices, is now developing non-invasive diagnostic solutions for cancer. Still at the research stage, the company is developing a portable device that will make breast cancer screening cheaper. The startup was founded by Jilma Peruvangat in 2017.

“Because of the screening cost, the diagnosis of breast cancer happens in the later stage where cure becomes very difficult,” says Jilma Peruvangat, Founder, Kozhnosys.

3. Aveti Learning (P) Ltd.

Founded by Biswajit Nayak and Sushant Mohapatra, Odisha-based Aveti Learning’s pocket-sized gadget can help solve questions on Math, Science, and Humanities. Its e-learning platform called ‘Shikhya’ specifically caters to orphanages or underserved communities and is presently functional in rural parts of Odisha. The startup walked away with a funding of Rs 25 lakh from Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology, Bhubaneshwar.

4. Primary healthcare Pvt. Ltd.

Addressing the key feature of affordability, this Odisha-based bootstrapped startup has created ‘Magic-Box’, a portable, easy-to-use proprietary strip. The nano-tech based device is used for the diagnosis/screening of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Founded by Sahil Jagnani in 2017, Primary Healthcare’s model integrates more than 20 different types of tests in a single box. The startup received Rs 25 lakh from Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology, Bhubaneshwar.

Primary Healthcare’s founder Sahil said:

“We are targeting NCDs because 70 percent deaths happen because of them. NCDs have a problem as there are no symptoms in the early stage. If we talk about cancer and if it is detected at the fourth stage, then there is no point detecting it. We are developing a screening device for all the non-communicable diseases that can sit in your home and give you an idea that everything is going fine with major organs like kidney, pancreas, heart and lungs.”

5. DesiGo Milk Pvt Ltd.

Rajasthan-based DesiGo Milk Pvt Ltd is bringing dairy products, and mostly milk, from indigenous Indian cows. Catering to western Rajasthan and few regions of NCR, the two-year-old company produces superior quality A2 milk at the most competitive price through its breed adoption programme. The startup raised Rs 25 lakh from Startup Oasis at the event.

Mahavir Singh, Project Head of DesiGo Milk Pvt Ltd said,

“We are trying to provide a practical platform to Indian indigenous cows for the development and conservation. It is the most natural, unadulterated, pure and healthy milk, which is capable and has the potential to transform a human life. We have also maintained certain data that clearly shows the difference the potency of the milk which comes from Indian indigenous cow.”

6. Divish Mobility Pvt Ltd.

Founded in 2018, Pune-based Divish Mobility’s ‘Batterypool’ offers battery charging solutions for electric two-wheelers in India. The company claims to reduce the total cost of ownership of electric two-wheelers by 30 percent. It provides the convenience and robustness of a petrol pump model and is working towards mass adoption of electric batteries. Founded by Ashwin Shankar, the startup walked away with Rs 25 lakh funding from Startup Oasis.

“The app-enabled service allows users to swap their vehicle batteries in seconds. Focused on clean energy, our product is tailor-made, and at the moment piloting in Bengaluru,” said Revanth Yedula, Head of Operations at BatteryPool.

7. Inhof Technologies Pvt Ltd

Inhof Technologies is a dairy management and analytics platform that lets a farmer record his farm data. The data is then later analysed and presented to the farmer. Founded in 2016 by Anil Mishra, the Jaipur-based company intends to maximise dairy farm output. It also aims to give a fillip to the Indian dairy industry with sustainable innovation, education, research-driven dairy sales and by revitalising confidence in dairy foods, farms, and businesses. The two-year-old startup walked away with Rs 20 lakh funding from IIT Kanpur at the event.

8. Avyantra Health Technologies Pvt Ltd

With an IoT-enabled automated peritoneal dialysis fluid making device (Periton Safe), Avyantra Health Technologies has developed a cost-effective dialysis device that continuously monitors patient compliance and performance parameters. Founded by KVKLN Rao and Hyma Goparaju, the device intends to make dialysis more affordable and accessible. Currently in prototype stage, it will be entering the market in 2020. The Hyderabad-based startup walked away with Rs 25 lakh funding from IIM Calcutta.

9. Gapoon Online Consumer Service Pvt. Ltd

Started by IIT Kanpur alumni Apoorva Mishra, Ankita Asai and Ankit Bindal in 2015, Gapoon is a one-stop shop for home maintenance services. The Bengaluru-based startup also provides house interior project services to designers, builders and property aggregators. The startup walked away with Rs 25 lakh funding from Villgro.

10. Mother Diagnostic Systems Private Limited 

Entering the healthcare sector with its low-cost digital X-ray and CT scanner, Mother Diagnostic Systems Private Limited is an international medical equipment manufacturing company. With a specialisation in X-Ray Imaging Systems for Primary Healthcare & Telemedicine compatible devices, the Bengaluru-based startup was founded by Karthik Somasundaram.

The company walked away with Rs 25 lakh cheque from TIMED, a Technology Business Incubator and Medical Incubator of medical devices.

11. Aikya Organics Pvt Ltd

Founded by Jitendra Yadav, the seven-month-old Aikya Organics is working with female farmers to grow organic food in six districts of Uttar Pradesh using Zero Budget Nature Farming (ZBNF). The Kanpur-based startup walked away with Rs 30 lakh funding from IIT Kanpur.

12. Morphle Technologies Pvt Ltd.

The Bengaluru-based startup claims to be India’s first comprehensive Digital Pathology platform that enables the pathology community to perform diagnosis while eliminating geographical barriers, cumbersome microscopes, and prohibitively expensive machines. Founded by Rohit Hiwale, the startup walked away with Rs 25 lakh investment from Villgro.


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