18 September 2017, Bangalore: Unitus Ventures (formerly Unitus Seed Fund), India’s leading impact venture fund investing in early- stage startups innovating for the masses, today released its semi-annual impact report, which is now mapped to UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As of 30 June 2017, Unitus Ventures (formerly Unitus Seed Fund)’s active portfolio of 14 companies have directly impacted over 1.2 million BoP (Base of the Economic Pyramid) lives across 29 states in India and created over 6, 200 sustainable, quality jobs. The fund’s portfolio companies have registered a 106 per cent year-on-year (YoY) growth in revenues and have raised 3.6x additional capital since Unitus’ initial investment.
Will Poole, Co-founder and Managing Partner at Unitus Ventures (formerly Unitus Seed Fund) said, “We are incredibly excited that we’ve crossed this important milestone of directly impacting over 1 million lives as a result of the work of our fast-growing portfolio companies.
Unitus Ventures (formerly Unitus Seed Fund)’s one million landmark is significant for the entire investing ecosystem: we’ve now shown the scale of impact a seed-level fund can achieve in a short span of four-and-a-half years.
Since founding in 2013, Unitus Ventures (formerly Unitus Seed Fund) has adopted a holistic, well-defined methodology of tracking and advancing portfolio companies’ progress and impact using industry standard IRIS metrics, now mapped to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):
- Social (scale) – 1.2 mn BoP lives impacted and 6,227 jobs created
Portfolio companies are selected to have the potential to impact at least 100,000 BoP families through their products and services, and/or directly provide BoP individuals 1,000 formal jobs in 5 years.
- Financial – 3.6x additional capital raised
Portfolio companies are on a path to financial sustainability through increased revenues and raising additional capital, enabling them to thrive and scale.
- Ecosystem – 75+ advisors & 40+ strategic partners
Portfolio companies are continually engaged with local and global network of advisors, skilled service providers and strategic partners such that every company benefits from, influences, and accelerates the functioning of the overall entrepreneurial ecosystem in India.
Aligning Impact with UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
In a first-of-its-kind move within the Indian investment ecosystem, Unitus Ventures (formerly Unitus Seed Fund) has aligned its impact outcomes with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which provide a universal language to communicate impact to a wide range of investors and other stakeholders. This standardized framework lets investors track cumulative progress across each SDG target and assess where capital can best flow to improve people’s lives and the planet while at the same time providing market rate financial returns.
Within the new framework, Unitus Ventures (formerly Unitus Seed Fund)’s portfolio companies’ work aligns with four UN SDGs –
- SDG #1 – End poverty
487, 329 BoP lives directly impacted
- SDG #3 – Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being
225,370 BoP lives directly impacted and US $2.8M revenues generated
- SDG #4 – Ensure quality education for all
67,390 BoP lives directly impacted and US $5.4M revenues generated
- SDG #8 – Promote decent work for all and sustainable economic growth
427,294 BoP lives directly impacted and US$11.6M revenues generated
“The UN SDGs are critical as they provide a common framework for any player creating impact to align with – from donors, to traditional and impact investors on one end and non-profits to impact businesses on the other. Through this move, we deeply encourage other ecosystem investors to utilize this framework as this multi- sector collaboration at the investment and impact level will enable us to improve the lives of millions of low-income people globally”, said Srikrishna Ramamoorthy, Partner at Unitus Ventures (formerly Unitus Seed Fund).
In its first Fund of USD $23 million, Unitus Ventures (formerly Unitus Seed Fund) made a total of 23 investments across education, healthcare, financial technology, retail and e-commerce, mobile, consumer internet and agriculture. Unitus Ventures (formerly Unitus Seed Fund) is currently raising its second fund of USD $45 million and plans to deploy it in across 25 – 30 startups in education, healthcare and financial technology by 2021.
About Unitus Ventures (formerly Unitus Seed Fund)
Unitus Ventures (formerly Unitus Seed Fund) is the leading impact venture fund investing in startups innovating for the masses in India. Unitus Ventures (formerly Unitus Seed Fund) invests in sectors including healthcare, education, mobile & consumer, retail & e-commerce, financial services, and agriculture. Founded in 2012, Unitus Ventures (formerly Unitus Seed Fund) is managed by Capria Ventures which is part of the Unitus Group, a premier financial services group operating in India and other emerging markets since 2000. Unitus Ventures (formerly Unitus Seed Fund) is based in Bangalore and Seattle, and is a member of the Capria Network.