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2013-01-05

Unitus Seed Fund raises $8m for “BoP start-ups”

Unitus Seed Fund (USF), a seed-stage investment fund based in Bangalore (India) and Seattle (US), has secured over $8 million in investment commitments for its seed-stage venture capital fund focused on accelerating "BoP startups" –start-ups serving low

Unitus Seed Fund (USF), a seed-stage investment fund based in Bangalore (India) and Seattle (US), has secured over $8 million in investment commitments for its seed-stage venture capital fund focused on accelerating "BoP startups" - start-ups serving low-income consumers in India.

USF will invest in for-profit scalable companies that will provide economic self-reliance, education, and basic necessities to millions of low-income people living at the base of the economic pyramid (meaning "BoP").

USF has also recruited a strong group of venture advisors to provide expert support to its portfolio companies.

By investing in entrepreneurs who are building BoP startups that serve the 800 million low-income citizens of India, USF expects to deliver both strong financial returns and substantial social impact. Building on its portfolio of four investments completed in 2012, USF anticipates making 10 new investments in 2013, and 10-12 per year going forward.

"We are delighted that leading investors share USF’s conviction that serving low-income customers with free-market principles and business discipline can sustainably improve the lives of those living on under $4/day and make good money at the same time," said Dave Richards, Managing Partner, USF.  "Our investees will do this by bringing products, services and income-generating enterprises directly to their communities."

The founding investors of the fund are Mike Murray (Co-founder, Unitus Labs), Jeff Clark, Vinod Khosla (Founder, Khosla Ventures and Khosla Impact), 500 Startups, and Bob Gay (Bain Capital). Co-investors in India include T.V. Mohandas Pai (Chairman, Aarin Capital Partners), and Dr Ranjan Pai (CEO, Manipal Education and Medical Group).

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