AWE Funds, a gender-focused venture capital investment platform based in the US, announced on Thursday the establishment of its first India fund, with a capital commitment of Rs 350 crore. is an effort to support sustainability and gender fairness through investing in innovation. According to the corporation, during the next 5 years, this recently created fund would invest in roughly 15 start-ups in industries like healthcare, sustainable energy, food and agriculture, and fintech.
According to AWE, which is registered with SEBI, it has received investment backing totaling roughly Rs. 130 crores from numerous foreign and Indian institutional investors as well as high net-worth individuals (HNIs). Names like Zia Mody, Soumya Rajan (the founder and CEO of Waterfield Advisors), Padma Chandrasekaran (previously of the Gates Foundation), and Divya Sampath (who was formerly with Microsoft, Cognizant, and Service Now), among many more, are among the Indian HNIs who have invested in AWE.
Seema Chaturvedi, the founding partner of AWE Funds. “We have been investing with a gender lens that delivers sustainable economic development and commercial returns. Our richly experienced on-the-ground team in India will help us successfully champion a gender-inclusive ecosystem,”
She further added, “The need for women to join the mainstream economic value creation has gained serious urgency, especially in the setting of an overall scarcity of resources to achieve sustainable development goals. We believe that AWE Funds can play a very positive role in catalyzing this much-required change at a stage when it is most impactful through an effective allocation of capital.”
Through a quantitative threshold-based gender lens gating criteria to invest in women-owned, led, or impacted (disproportionate supply chain or market making) enterprises, AWE Funds has established a goal of empowering 30 million women to obtain “agency” by 2030. AWE Funds looks to make investments at the beginning of a company’s lifecycle (Pre-Series A, Series A equity rounds) and also aims to help businesses by utilizing the wide range of expertise of the firm’s investment professionals, strategic alliances, and the firm’s global network of executives and advisors to help businesses produce market returns for its investors.
“AWE Funds pursues investments at an early stage of an enterprise’s lifecycle (Pre-Series A, Series A equity rounds) and additionally seeks to assist companies with the diverse skills of the firm’s investment professionals, strategic relationships, and the firm’s global network of executives and advisors to deliver market returns for its investors,” the company said in a statement.