Artha Venture Challenge Finalists Announced

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Sept 2, 2013 | Mumbai, India: Of the 116 ambitious early-stage social enterprises that

applied for the Artha Venture Challenge (AVC) – a national competition designed to identify,

select and provide the best socially focused ventures access to mentoring, connections and

funding – the final cohort of 15 enterprises has now been announced.

The finalists for the AVC are Aakar Innovations Pvt. Ltd, Arogya Finance, Avani Bio Energy,

Banka BioLoo, Boond Engineering & Development Pvt. Ltd, Edubridge Learning Pvt. Ltd,

Jackonblock Facility Services Pvt. Ltd, KNIDS GREEN Pvt. Ltd, NextDrop, MicroGraam

Marketplace Pvt. Ltd, Sakhi Unique Rural Enterprise, Sanchayan Suraksha Solutions Pvt. Ltd,

Sevamob, Tamul Plates Marketing Pvt. Ltd and Villgro Innovation Marketing Pvt. Ltd.

These finalists will not only receive extensive capacity building support but also the opportunity

to access INR 25 lakh of equity funding, if matched by the same in co-investment within the next

eight months. That co-investment may take the form of grant, equity or debt, though the AVC

matched piece must necessarily be in equity form.

Learn more about the final cohort of the AVC by visiting

To ensure that the final cohort are able to secure the external round of funding necessary to

access the matched round of INR 25 lakh, innovation accelerators Ennovent and Villgro will be

working closely with each of the finalists to provide them customised support.

These organisations will enable the final cohort to build a compelling growth story by providing

access to expert mentors, facilitating exposure to a closed network of impact investors, offering

investment readiness support and profiling them as one of the most high-potential social

entrepreneurs in India.

Currently, many high-potential social ventures fail because of an inability to access the funding

and resources required to grow operations and scale impact. The AVC, which invited

entrepreneurs that have completed proof of concept and are seeking growth investment, aims

to address this missing middle in social finance by providing access to high-risk patient capital

and customised business support.

Audrey Selian, Director, Artha Platform and the newly formed Artha Networks Inc., comments,

“The Artha Venture Challenge is a pioneering initiative for early-stage social ventures in India.

We are excited to be announcing this final cohort and providing them the capacity building

support they require to secure their lead investors, which will in turn trigger our matched round

of Rs 25 lakh. Our goal is to shift the center of gravity in this space, to empower the

entrepreneurs through our process, and then to encourage our peer impact investors to take

action. This is indeed an opportunity for us all to replace talk with action.”

Pradeep Kashyap, Founder of MART who was on the jury panel for the AVC adds, “It was an

interesting learning experience. Some of the plans from the ventures were of the highest order.”

The Artha Venture Challenge is funded by the Artha Platform, whose core funder/founder is the

team at Rianta Capital Zurich. Inspired by the UK Big Venture Challenge where 10 early-stage

co-investment deals were closed within 10 months, the Artha Venture Challenge aims to

similarly stimulate the early growth stage social investment market, except with an exclusive

Indian focus. By strengthening seed investment in social ventures in India and helping investors

de-risk through co-investment, the AVC will strategically deploy capital and resources where

they matters the most.

Learn more about the final cohort of the AVC by visiting

Source: Press Release