Carrying water

Acumen to launch an India fund with Indian investors

Acumen is launching a dedicated fund for India, which is their largest market.

Incorporated in 2001 by Jacqueline Novogratz, with seed capital from the Rockefeller Foundation, Cisco Systems Foundation and individual philanthropists, Acumen has invested $100 million globally. Of this, about $32 million is in India.

Most of these funds have been raised from U.S. investors. According to Ajit Mahadevan, India director at Acumen, the company is planning to raise an India fund through partnerships with local Indian companies.

It has made 27 investments in India, including emergency medical services provider Ziqitza Health Care; affordable housing firm Aarusha Homes; Labournet, which provides training for informal sector workers; and Our Family Clinic, a chain of primary health clinics.

Acumen’s work in India spans four sectors—healthcare, education, clean energy and agriculture. With the increased focus on the Indian market, Acumen will focus on themes such as technology and financing.

“Across the four sectors we work in, we will look at these two enabling themes, because on the back of that you can create accelerated impact. All our education companies have a technology element. In agriculture, the focus is on access to markets using technology,” said Mahadevan.

Acumen is exploring new avenues such as student and school financing, health insurance and MSME debt financing.

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