ACT Grants is an initiative taken on a voluntary basis by 44 Venture Capital funds and over 34 Indian entrepreneurs. The initiative has recently announced to raise a target corpus amount worth INR 500 crore to fund innovations and innovative solutions to solve problems beyond the COVID-19 crisis in major sectors including Healthcare, Education, Gender Diversity and Environment over the next 10 years.
ACT was introduced last year in March 2020 with INR 100 crore grant. The initiative is aimed at these major roles:
- To award grant money to technology-based companies that may innovate solutions opposing the COVID-19 crisis.
- To bridge together companies to nationwide government, state and NGOs who are continuously putting in efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to a report by newsmatter.com, the ACT brings together investors and entrepreneurs from established businesses and start-ups that puts together extra grant money as a power multiplier. Part One of the Act included INR 100 crore grant which made the initiative capable enough to fund over 54 start-ups with over 100 initiatives that could eventually impact more than 49 million lives throughout 27 states in India. On the other hand, in the latest part two of the ACT, the voluntary initiative is targeting INR 500 crore corpus that can be deployed and distributed in major categories such as Healthcare, Schooling, Atmosphere and Gender Equality.
COVID-19 crisis has certainly disrupted these major categories beyond regular repair which is why ACT has been incorporated. The initiative has curated the entire framework throughout the branches of healthcare in the society. ACT will fund start-ups and innovations to combat healthcare risks because of COVID-19 and will enable a future-ready healthcare system, keeping in mind the affordability and quality of services in this category.
Schooling is another niche that has been impacted heavily by the COVID-19 pandemic. The ACT corpus will make necessary investments in education technology start-ups to ensure high-quality studying and aid the financial trouble caused to Indians because of the crisis.
Mohit Bhatnagar, Managing Director at Sequoia Capital mentions in a statement that with this second ACT, the team plans to find five large causes that will impact India and raise INR 500 crore funding in Seed Capital investments. He further added that most importantly, the initiative aims to catalyse an INR 5,000 crore of scale capital which is behind that.
The voluntary initiative has grown phenomenally as compared to its first phase. It has now got inputs from some of the best entrepreneurial minds in the country with pooled resources and time to rejuvenate the Indian start-up sector, to work on innovative ideas for doing good in the society.