Social Finance launches $2 billion India funds

NEW DELHI: Not-for-profit social impact investor Social Finance has launched two funds in India with a combined corpus of $2 billion to fund projects in areas such as education, health and housing, the organization co-founded by Sir Ronald Cohen, said on Monday.The two funds will be geared towards meeting financial requirements of projects that are aligned with the Modi government initiatives such as ‘Make in India’, ‘Skill India’ and ‘Swachh Bharat’ amongst others, Social Finance said in an official release.The social impact investor has hired former Tata Capital COO Govind Sankaranarayanan to head its operations in India. Tata Trusts, the philanthropic arm and holding company of the Tata Group and social impact investor Omidyar Network are backers of Social Finance’s Indian funds. Cohen is also a co-founder of global private equity giant Apax Partners, which is estimated to have deployed more than $50 billion in investments across the globe.The funds launched by Social Finance in India will achieve twin objectives, the impact investor said. The first fund with a corpus of $1billion will invest primarily in education-related initiatives such as technologies to improve learning outcomes and efforts that are aimed at increasing enrolment in schools. The second fund, which will also have a $1billion corpus, will provide equity funding to lenders that are creating social impact by financing priority sectors such as affordable housing, agriculture and small and mid-scale enterprises.The board of Social Finance in India will comprise IDFC Bank founder Rajiv Lall, Ashish Dhawan, a founder of homegrown PE firm Chrys Capital, and Vikram Gandhi, a former vice chairman at Credit Suisse.

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