An excellent piece by Suparna Goswami Bhattacharya on Techinasia. Here is an excerpt.
Recently, Bangalore-based Dunzo, a daily task-management app, raised funds from Aspada, Blume Ventures, and other prominent angel investors like Google’s Rajan Anandan. While Aspada is an impact investor, Blume Ventures happens to be a mainstream investor.
Similarly, RailYatri, a travel app which provides information on trains and passenger amenities, raised funding from Blume Ventures and Helion Venture Partners, both mainstream investors, along with Omidyar Network, an impact investor.
These are just two examples of the blurring boundaries between impact and mainstream venture capital investing. Lately, impact investors are witnessing an increase in interest from traditional investors in the companies on their portfolio.
Gone are the days when doing social good while making money in the process would raise eyebrows. Companies now realize that a positive social impact is only sustainable if the business model is viable. And this has made life easier for VCs, who don’t have to stay away from certain startups.
Radha K, principal at Unitus Seed Fund, prefers to call herself an investor first. “An investor is an investor and I don’t see the need to be classified as a social venture capitalist. Yes, we at Unitus Seed Fund have a goal to create an impact in India by improving the livelihood of the masses, but we are not out there to do charity. As much as we are about impact, we are also about profitability,” says Radha. The phenomenon is especially marked in the consumer internet space.
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