Cisco announced that it will invest in Aavishkaar, a venture fund that promotes development in rural and semi-urban India. Cisco’s investment will be in Aavishkaar India II Company Ltd (Aavishkaar II) and will also collaborate with other investors to drive sustainable business models with a social impact at their core.
The newly created Aavishkaar II is a Mauritius based $120 million fund and will be invested in projects in rural India. It achieved its first closing at $70 million with corporate investors such as Cisco and institutional investors including KFW, FMO, ICF and CDC.
The fund is advised by Mumbai-based Aavishkaar Venture Management Services Pvt Ltd and will focus on investment in education, agriculture, health and energy sectors.
This is not the first time Cisco shows interest in supporting social development. In the past few years, the company has committed a total of $200 million of venture capital investments to India, of which almost half has been utilised to far. According to Mr. Edzard Overbeek, President, Cisco Asia Pacific, Japan and Greater China “Cisco is committed to contributing to the communities where we do business and it’s no different in India where we’ve located our Globalisation Centre East and employ thousands of employees who contribute greatly to our engineering operations.’’