Events & News

Indian start-up in global limelight
: April 1, 2017

Tessol is basking in the limelight, having won global attention at the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue last week for its mobile refrigeration technology.

The company was one of the six winners of the prestigious Startup Energy Transition awards instituted by the Deutsche Energie–Agentur, the German Energy Agency, for innovative business ideas in energy transition from across the world.


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Even farmers begin to pay through digital modes
: March 10, 2017

Demonetisation has pushed many farmers to go digital. Platforms like TheAgrihub, AgroStar, BigHaat, and RML AgTech that provide services and products to farmers say there's been a significant increase in payments done through debit cards, credit cards, netbanking and other digital modes.

BigHaat, an e-commerce platform that sells agricultural products including seeds and fertilisers, has seen its online payment transactions grow from 5% of overall transactions six months ago, to 30%. Over 5,000 farmers, mainly in Punjab, Maharashtra, and Chhattisgarh in the north and Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra in the south, transact on it.


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Impact Investor Ankur Capital to invest in seven companies this year
: March 8, 2017

Mumbai-based impact investor focused on innovative businesses in agriculture, healthcare, education, skill development and rural access – is positioning for the next leg of growth.

Having seven companies in its portfolio, Ankur Capital is in the process of adding three more companies – one each in the agriculture, health and education segments – in a couple of weeks, said Rema Subramanian, co-founder of Ankur Capital.

“We would be investing in 6-7 more companies this year. We will primarily look at these three sectors but are also interested in opportunities in fintech, where startups may be looking at innovative ways to enable access to savings products for the base of the Indian population,” she added. The investment will be focused only on Indian companies.


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Gender was Never a Concern For These Two Women Investors
: March 8, 2017

India has seen its share of women entrepreneurs and powerful executives. However, what we haven’t seen is a lot of fund managers. Rema Subramanian and Ritu Verma gate-crashed the territory, which was predominately dominated by the big, industry boys.


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Sowing data for a rich harvest
: March 6, 2017

Krishna Kumar talks passionately about geo-tagging of farm plots, data analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence in the context of farming and you wonder what these have to do with agriculture, especially when technology is the last thing on the mind of a vast majority of farmers.

But very soon he dispels this notion and says agriculture technology and data-driven farming are the way forward if farmers are to increase their productivity and reduce wastage.

That is exactly what his venture, CropIn Technology Solutions Pvt Ltd, based in Bengaluru, is attempting to do, as it provides information to the farmers ranging from weather and climatic conditions, the likely yield, problem areas in the field to when the farmer can expect a harvest.


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Are VCs missing out on a huge India opportunity?
: February 7, 2017

Is it possible to thrive financially, while benefiting society? Investors seem to be warming up to this idea, but very slowly.

The real market lies in wider India, outside the large urban centres. Ritu Verma, CEO of Ankur Capital, said, “A lot of these businesses are catering to the top cream of the Indian population, but there are 700 million people who are part of a not-very-efficient market and will benefit from impact investing. We are focusing on that.”


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CropIn Technology on Road to Become the Backbone of Crop Insurances, to Benefit Over 25 Million Farmers in India by 2018
: February 6, 2017

A 6-Year-Young Startup is now Betting Big on its Data Algorithms Fuelled by 'Farm Insights and Artificial Intelligence,' to Create Holistic Solutions for Crop Loan and Farm Insurances, to the Root Level Farmers in India

CropIn Technology Solutions , a Bengaluru-based startup is now on an onslaught of initiatives to implement the benefit of Agriculture Technology (AgTech) to the last mile.


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India’s first welding simulator, SkillVeri, raises Rs 8 Cr from Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, Ankur Capital
: January 12, 2017

Skillveri Pvt. Ltd, a skilling platform that trains workers for manufacturing and production jobs, has raised a Series A round of investment of Rs 8 crore from the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and Ankur Capital. Ankur Capital had already infused some funds into the startup in the form of a seed investment in 2015. The creators of the first welding simulator made in India, Skillveri will leverage this investment to enable the training of 500,000 youth for well-paying aspirational manufacturing jobs over the next five years.


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SkillVeri raises Rs 8 cr from Dell Foundation, Ankur Capital
: January 12, 2017

Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and impact investor Ankur Capital have invested Rs 8 crore in Chennai-based startup SkillVeri.

“This investment will enable Skillveri to expand its presence into new geographies as well as foray into multiple new skill domains, such as painting, paramedical procedures, jewelry making, where manual dexterity is highly valued,” Skillveri founder and CEO Sabarinath Nair said.


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SkillVeri raises Rs 8 cr from Dell Foundation, Ankur Capital
: January 12, 2017

Chennai-based Skillveri Training Solutions Pvt Ltd, which makes simulators to train workers on various industrial jobs, has raised 8 crore in a Series A round from Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, and existing investor Ankur Capital.


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Entrepreneurs Must Know About These 4 Sector-Focused Funds
: January 2, 2017

2016 saw a year of funding slowdown, 2017 might just see the reign of sector-focussed funds in India. These are funds that cater to only a particular sector which are very niche and less explored.


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Meet The Top 11 Finalists Of The Fourth Wharton India Startup Competition
: December 30, 2016

The 21st Wharton India Economic Forum (WIEF) has announced the finalists of its Fourth Wharton India Startup Competition.

Founded in 1996, the Wharton India Economic Forum (WIEF), is an annual conference hosted by the students of Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. It is a global business forum focussed on understanding and engaging with India’s startup landscape.


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Agricultural e-commerce startup BigHaat secures funding from Ankur Capital
: December 23, 2016

BigHaat, a Bangalore-based agriculture e-commerce startup, has received investment from Ankur Capital, an early-stage VC firm which backs innovative projects in agriculture, healthcare and education.

Rema Subramanian, Co-founder & Managing Partner, Ankur Capital, said,

"We are excited about technology playing a key role in improving efficiency and transparency in agri-input distribution systems for farmers and are thrilled to back a great team at BigHaat."


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BigHaat secures funding to connect farmers directly with seed suppliers in India
: December 22, 2016

Ankur Capital, an early-stage VC fund focused on backing innovations in agriculture, healthcare and education, has invested an undisclosed sum in Bangalore-based BigHaat, an agri e-commerce startup.

Established in January 2015 by Sateesh Nukala, Sachin Nandwana and Raj Kancham, BigHaat is a supply chain technology platform that connects the farming community directly with the suppliers. The platform not only ensures listing of the products, but also connects buyers with the suppliers for post-sale support.


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CropIn improves farmers’ lives with data analytics and digital apps
: December 12, 2016

Ramesh, a farmer in the southern region of Punjab grows potatoes in his farm. Today, he gets accurate information on when to sow the crop, the temperature around his farm, the right mix of chemicals required, how to tackle crop infection, if any, and finally the time when the potatoes will be ready to harvest along with their quality, size and the overall quantity of yield.

The application that Ramesh uses is called SmartFarm, a data-driven farming solution created by Bengaluru-based CropIn Technology. For farmers like Ramesh, and other large companies like ITC, Mahindra & Mahindra, McCain etc., the solution is transforming a once cumbersome and unreliable process—into something intuitive and, crucially, effective.


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Why This Fund Wants to Invest In Indian Agritech Startups
: November 9, 2016

Ankur Capital is looking for innovative business models that can address core challenges in agriculture, healthcare, skill development and education. Entrepreneur India spoke to Ritu Verma, co-founder, Managing Partner at Ankur Capital on what lies ahead for this sector


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Karma Healthcare named UBS Social Innovator 2016 APAC winner
: November 1, 2016

Congratulations to Karma Healthcare, who were named as the Asia Pacific UBS Social Innovator 2016.


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Open house at Ankur Capital with VCs and Startups!
: October 21, 2016

Calling all startups and entrepreneurship enthusiasts!

Visit our office on Friday, the 21st of October 5:30 pm onwards for an informal meet and greet!


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Expert advice: Ride the wave of technology with a winning team to create an impact
: October 14, 2016

Build, Grow and Monetise! That’s the only way real businesses are made. The YourStory TechSparks 2016 focussed mainly on disruptive technologies, sustainable scale, and startup fundamentals.

“Technology brings down the cost of delivery, increases your reach quickly and it also brings in transparency,” said Ritu Varma, Ankur Capital.


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Startups have an online cure for rural healthcare
: October 10, 2016

While telemedicine in itself has been around for a while now, as technology evolves, it has become possible to do a lot more remotely. Most of the times, all that the person in the remote outpost needs is a reasonably good internet connection and a phone or a computer. Very often, a 3G dongle works just fine. After spending 18 months, living in a small town in Bihar, Jagdeep Gambhir saw up close the state of healthcare in rural India. In 2014, he set up Karma Healthcare where a team of doctors in Udaipur is connected to smaller centres across the state.


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How social enterprises can do more with less using technology
: October 3, 2016

On the second day of YourStory TechSparks 2016, the panel discussion on “The resurgence of the social sector: tech and social impact” threw light on how a social enterprise can do more with less using technology?

Ritu Verma - founding partner of Ankur Capital, an angel impact fund - said that Ankur Capital invests in companies that want to address the people at the bottom of the pyramid in India. They are looking for entrepreneurs who address social problems or real life problems.


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We are coming to Ahmedabad-Coffee Chat with Ankur Capital
: September 30, 2016

Ever wondered how does a VC evaluate a company? What are those deal breakers? What gets a VC excited? Join us for a coffee chat in Ahmedabad on Friday, 30th September.


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President Pranab Mukherjee invites Raj firm to set up telemed clinics in Haryana
: September 30, 2016

In June this year, President Pranab Mukherjee adopted five villages in Haryana - four in Gurgaon district and one in Mewat - to make them model villages. Now, Rajasthan's Karma Healthcare has just launched a telemedicine clinic at one of these villages. The firm had earlier set up such facilities in rural Udaipur.


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Meet these 15 investors at TechSparks 2016
: September 21, 2016

Advice, insight and investment are commonly sought by startups, and for seven years, TechSparks has connected startups with mentors, investors and established entrepreneurs. Not only do startups gain access to investors, they also get a clear idea of what their next steps should be, making it easier for startups to make a real connection with investors.


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Coffee Chat with Ankur Capital-Lets talk about Venture Capital (Hyderabad)
: September 9, 2016

Ever wondered how does a VC evaluate a company? What are those deal breakers? What gets a VC excited? Join us for a coffee chat in Hyderabad on Friday, 9th September.

Important: This meet up has limited seating. Please write to us on info@ankurcapital.com with subject: "Meetup in Hyderabad" and tell us what you do. We will send you the details of the venue soon after!


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Welded To A Cause (Good Businesses 2016 – Outlook Business)
: September 9, 2016

It was a newspaper article on how Delhi’s T3 airport was entirely built by Chinese workers that caught Skillveri’s founder, C Sabarinath’s attention. “I realised there is a huge skill gap waiting to be filled. In a country with such high unemployment rates, why should we bring in workers from China? It got me thinking about how we can solve this problem,” he says.


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Nature Nurture (Good Businesses 2016 – Outlook Business)
: September 9, 2016

Did you know that 60% of a crop’s yield depends entirely on soil fertility? I didn’t either, till I met K Karthik, the founder of Suma Agro who calls soil fertility the bedrock of agriculture. Karthik is concerned over the excessive use of fertilisers and the resulting significant drop in yields. He then points out that in 1970, where one kg of NPK fertiliser yielded 15 kgs of foodgrain, the same one kg mixture yields only 4 kgs of foodgrain today.


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Farming At Your Fingertips (Good Businesses 2016 – Outlook Business)
: September 7, 2016

Large companies such as PepsiCo and McCain have contract farms that are spread across thousands of acres and, as a result, find it difficult to keep a track of crops grown on each plot. Farm reporting is a manual process as it involves maintaining records, information about pests, germination percentage, area validation and weather forecasts. But CropIn has made it possible by geo-tagging every farm and helping trace the activities of each and every farm in real time.


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Farm-tech firm CropIn gets funding from Denmark’s Sophia Investment
: August 30, 2016

CropIn Technology Solutions Pvt. Ltd, a Bengaluru-based company that makes farm management software and apps, has raised $2 million (Rs 13.4 crore) from Denmark’s Sophia Investment ApS, a person people privy to the development.

The transaction valued the company at $12 million, the person said, asking not to be named.


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Ankur Capital Founders’ Meet
: August 9, 2016

Ankur Capital successfully organised the second edition of our Founders’ Meet, on 8th and 9th August 2016.

The agenda included interacting with guest speakers from different backgrounds, many of them first generation entrepreneurs who have built companies worth thousands of crores. Each session brought in a different flavour and touched upon a different aspect of scaling up. So while Dr. Velumani (Thyrocare) kicked off the day with truly inspiring reflections on his journey from scratch to an IPO, the afternoon saw Mr. Sharad Sanghi (Netmagic) and Mr. Suhas Misra (Paperboat) leading a discussion on building a brand and sales strategies for accelerating growth. The aim of all these sessions was to inspire and enable founders of our portfolio companies to tackle some of the challenges of scaling up.


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Ankur Capital Founders’ Meet
: August 9, 2016

Ankur Capital held its second annual Founders’ Meet in Mumbai on 8th & 9th August 2016. It was an opportunity for the founders of our portfolio companies to learn, discuss and engage with one another and other external entrepreneurs on the experiences and challenges of scaling up their organisations.


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Ankur Capital invests Rs 60 lakh in Chennai-based Suma Agro
: July 28, 2016

Early stage venture capital fund Ankur Capital which is bullish on agri-tech announced Rs 60-lakh investment in a Suma Agro, a Chennai-based sustainable agro-input company.

As per Rema Subramanian, Partner at the fund, the Rs 40-crore fund has three more investments in the pipeline — one in a cold storage company and the other two in agriculture inputs and healthcare.


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Ankur Capital invests Rs 60 lakh in Chennai-based Suma Agro
: July 28, 2016

Early stage venture capital fund Ankur Capital which is bullish on agri-tech announced Rs 60-lakh investment in a Suma Agro, a Chennai-based sustainable agro-input company.

As per Rema Subramanian, Partner at the fund, the Rs 40-crore fund has three more investments in the pipeline — one in a cold storage company and the other two in agriculture inputs and healthcare.


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Webinar 2: How to build a brand that stands out!
: July 1, 2016

Build your brand and make it stand out. Learn the nuances of brand building from the the man who built Paper Boat- one of India's leading beverages brand!


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Webinar: What does a VC look for? Get your startup investment ready!
: May 20, 2016

Get smart and jump start! - The practical must haves to get your startup funded.

In this webinar, learn the most important aspects of raising capital and getting investment ready, directly from the horse's mouth- our guest, the founding partner of Ankur Capital.


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Rural women are early adopters of technology
: March 8, 2016

It was the vacuum in the under-served rural and semi-urban pockets that caught the attention of cost accountant, Rema Subramanian, 54 and Ritu Verma, 44, a scientist from Pennsylvania to team up and become India's first SEBI- registered angel fund founded by women.

It's 18 months since the inception of Ankur Capital and with 45 years of combined experience, the company, with a corpus of Rs 400 million, has funded five start-ups ranging between Rs 5 million and Rs 40 million.


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Startups pave way for Farming 2.0
: December 23, 2015

Smart phones and internet may not have penetrated much in rural Karnataka and India but that's not stopping a slew of startups in Bengaluru from offering next-gen farming tips, with the assistance of technology.

From offering expert advice to farmers on crop and sowing pattern to solutions on how to harvest and maximize their yield, startups seem to have an app for all. And what's more, the forecast for the apps seems to be quite promising.

CropIn, a five-year-old startup, has already started providing its applications for mostly Farmer Producer Organisations (FPO) and NGOs. Founded by Krishna Kumar and Kunal Prasad, CropIn also has big farming companies like Pepsico, McCain, Fieldfresh looking to it for solutions.


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How a startup wants to transform Indian agriculture by using the cloud
: October 16, 2015

In April 2013, a news update on farmers in different districts of Bengal throwing their produce of tomatoes on the road shocked viewers. These farmers were infuriated with the fact that wholesalers were offering them only 25 paise per kilo. If they sold at these prices, they would have incurred heavy losses as there was a massive mismatch between the production cost and the cost of selling. This is not a rare incident, as similar cases have been reported across the country for many years. Farmers have been even driven to take the adverse step of killing themselves due to poor crop yield. In the last 2 decades, over 3 lakh farmers have ended their lives. It is estimated that forty one farmers commit suicide every day. Figures released by the Ministry of Agriculture in July 2015, state that over 3300 farmers have committed suicide due to agricultural reasons in the last 3 years. Most suicides are committed as farmers are under intense pressure to pay back the mounting debt — especially when crops fail.


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Ankur Capital backs training simulator maker Skillveri
: September 16, 2015

Mumbai-based impact investor Ankur Capital has invested an undisclosed amount in Chennai-based startup Skillveri Training Solutions Pvt Ltd.

Skillveri creates simulators to deliver skill training. It claims that its AURA line of welding simulators can train workers at a fraction of the cost required by traditional training methods.


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SIDBI Ramps Up Startup Support Through Fund of Funds Operation
: September 16, 2015

India’s startup ecosystem is one of the fastest growing ones in the world with the third largest base, having more than 4200 startups (next only to UK and US). It is also becoming evident that the startups through their disruptive technology and business models are not only going to fuel the Indian economy for a higher growth trajectory, but also change the way of our living in several ways. Startup India initiative has the potential to help achieve the global growth ambitions of India.

Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) as the principal financial institution for promotion and financing of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) has been addressing the gaps in the MSME ecosystem both directly and indirectly.


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Helping farmers in identifying problems and improving produce
: April 6, 2015

Even India’s population increases rapidly, the growth in food production is lagging behind.

Some entrepreneurs think technology holds the answer: Krishna Kumar, an engineer and an entrepreneur, has co-founded CropIn Technology Solutions along with Kunal Prasad to help increase farm productivity by making every farm and crop traceable and export-worthy.


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Rajasthan’s Karma Healthcare bags funding to bring telemedicine to villages
: April 6, 2015

Indian rural healthcare startup Karma Healthcare has raised an undisclosed amount in pre-series A round from impact fund Ankur Capital.

The company runs clinics in the rural areas of desert state Rajasthan. It gives villagers access to specialized doctors through telemedicine as well as direct face-to-face consultations. It uses tablet computers, printers, power-backup systems, and medical devices which can transmit real-time data from patients to doctors located elsewhere.


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How Ankur Capital is following a different path to impact investment
: April 4, 2015

In 2010, J.P. Morgan estimated the potential capital need for impact investments (targeting the part of the global population earning less than $3,000 a year), which drive not just social impact but also financial returns, to be $400 billion to $1,000 billion over the next 10 years. Fortunately, over the last 20 years, the number of specialised commercial funds in the impact investing space has risen 10 times. Capital committed to impact investing via private equity style active managers alone has risen from $4 billion to $12 billion over the same period.


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Our focus is to create scalable businesses: Rema Subramanian
: March 12, 2015

A number of angel investors, and venture funds, invest in technology start-ups and commercial businesses, hoping to get good returns in a short span of time. However, Ankur Capital, an impact angel fund co-founded by Rema Subramanian, has decided to focus on an uncharted territory, where there are not many successful examples to boost the spirit. She explains to Bibhu Ranjan Mishra why the fund is investing in social ventures. Edited excerpts:


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Ankur Capital bets on real India, invests in three early-stage rural ventures
: February 26, 2015

Impact investment fund, Ankur Capital, has invested in three early-stage ventures that focus on rural markets.

The Mumbai-based venture capital fund, which received approval from market regulator Sebi earlier this month, is backing CropIn, a cloud-based farm management systems company, home compost solutions provider Daily Dump and primary eye-care service provider ERC.


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This man uses tech to bring doctors to India’s remotest villages
: October 14, 2014

Three quarters of its people live in rural settlements. Only the more affluent farmers and artisans in larger villages have huts with more than one room. Infant and maternal mortality rates are among the highest in the country. According a recent survey, 49 babies die in every 1,000 births. Many of the villagers never go to a doctor or hospital because they do not have any money to spare. Even when they can afford it, there are hardly any doctors in the remote villages. They end up going to quacks, who are quick to dispense painkillers, placebos, and even harmful medicines without any training in medicine.


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A sight for sore eyes
: May 5, 2014

When Laxmi Das, a 38-year-old weaver from Borholla village in upper Assam's Jorhat district, complained of poor vision, she didn't have to travel far for a check-up. Das was diagnosed at her village, at half the cost incurred at major eye centres, thanks to an ERC Eye Care-run vision centre.

Such vision centres, the brainchild of ophthalmologist Parveez Ubed, address the lack of quality eye care in the rural areas of upper Assam. These vision centres, along with mobile units, test patients for common eye ailments and refractive errors. If these centres aren't able to address an ailment, the case is referred to neighbouring government hospitals.


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CropIn Technology raises funding to bring big data to farms
: April 9, 2014

Agriculture technology provider CropIn Technology Solutions has raised funding from US-based investment firm Invested Development.

The firm, which provides agriculture technology to farmers as well as large companies including PepsiCo and Mahindra & Mahindra, will use the money to scale up its technology, hire talent and also explore opportunities in markets such as Kenya, Philippines, Mexico and Indonesia.


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Have you met Ankur Capital? The story of the new seed fund in town
: March 19, 2014

Though Rema Subramanium and Ritu Verma come from different backgrounds, they are passionate about the same thing —genuinely creating an impact, and supporting entrepreneurs who want to do the same. Besides this, both women wear multiple hats; Rema is also an entrepreneur, and Ritu a physicist.

This passion led the two highly driven and motivated ladies to start a fund called Ankur Capital. Ankur Capital is an INR 40 crore social venture fund that invests in startup businesses (one to three years of on-ground operations) that impact low-income communities in India.


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Ankur Capital invests in agri-tech company CropIn
: February 26, 2014

Mumbai-based impact investor Ankur Capital has invested Rs 50 lakh ($81,0000) in convertible debt in Bangalore-based CropIn Technology Solutions Pvt Ltd, which provides a cloud-based platform to help farmers track their produce and consignment status, for 30 per cent stake, according to a report by The Economic Times.


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Ankur Capital bets on real India, invests in three early-stage rural ventures
: February 26, 2014

Impact investment fund, Ankur Capital, has invested in three early-stage ventures that focus on rural markets.

The Mumbai-based venture capital fund, which received approval from market regulator Sebi earlier this month, is backing CropIn, a cloud-based farm management systems company, home compost solutions provider Daily Dump and primary eye-care service provider ERC.


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Ankur Capital invests in agri-tech company CropIn
: February 26, 2014

Mumbai-based impact investor Ankur Capital has invested Rs 50 lakh ($81,0000) in convertible debt in Bangalore-based CropIn Technology Solutions Pvt Ltd, which provides a cloud-based platform to help farmers track their produce and consignment status, for 30 per cent stake, according to a report by The Economic Times.


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Assam-based ERC Eye Care raises money from investors to fund expansion plan
: December 18, 2013

Ennovent Impact Investment Holding and Ankur Capital have invested an undisclosed amount in Assam-based eyecare company ERC Eye Care. Beyond Capital Fund, angel investor Sadeesh Raghavan and Ennovent Circle, which accelerates innovations for low-income markets, also participated.


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ERC Eye Care raises angel funding from Ennovent, Ankur Capital and other investors
: December 17, 2013

Assam-based ERC Eye Care Pvt Ltd, which provides low-cost eye care services for the bottom of the pyramid market, has raised an angel round of funding from Ennovent and Ankur Capital among other investors.


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CropIn: an innovation to address problems of Indian farmers
: November 4, 2013

In 2009, software engineer Krishna Kumar, working at US conglomerate General Electric Co. (GE) India’s state-of-the-art Bangalore office, decided that he wanted to build and work on technology solutions that would address the problems faced by the bottom half of India’s 1.2 billion strong population.

After reading former GE chief executive Jack Welch’s book Straight From The Gut, where Welch describes the innovation cycles of various technology solutions that the company builds, Kumar realized that he would possibly be better off developing such innovations on his own, rather than at a large corporation.


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