Catalytic Capital | January 27, 2021

MacArthur Foundation backs Ankur Capital fund for tech impact in India

Dennis Price
ImpactAlpha Editor

Dennis Price

ImpactAlpha, Jan 27 – Commercial investors tend to steer clear of businesses targeting low-income customers, leaving billions in India without access to affordable and essential products and services. Mumbai-based Ankur Capital seeks out early and even unproven businesses in agriculture, food, health care, financial inclusion and education using technology to drive down the cost of delivery of high-impact products at scale.

MacAthur’s investment follows Ankur’s $33 million first close last year that included investments from Dutch Good Growth Fund, The CDC Group, and the Small Industries Development Bank of India.

  • Digitization opportunity. Ankur backed this month’s $20 million financing round for Bangalore-based CropIn, which provides data analysis on crop yields and risks. The more than half-dozen recent India agtech deals “signal the investor traction the digitization of Indian agriculture has gained despite – or because of – COVID-related disruptions,” ImpactAlpha’s Jessica Pothering wrote this week.
  • Catalytic capital. MacArthur’s $7.5 million program-related investment is part of the Catalytic Capital Consortium, or C3, which also includes Omidyar Network and Rockefeller Foundation.Other MacArthur C3 commitments include One Acre Fund, Impact America Fund, Prime Coalition, Acumen’s ALIVE and the Women in Safe Homes fund.

Disclosure: MacArthur Foundation is a sponsor of ImpactAlpha’s Catalytic Capital coverage).