Social business incubator Villgro recently notched up a significant success in completing the first round of fundraising for Menterra Venture Advisors, an impact fund which it launched recently for facilitating investments in a number of social sectors like healthcare, energy, agriculture and general skill-building.
Villgro seeks to invest Rs. 1-3 crore in companies which are actively participating in these sectors. The fund is expected to have a final corpus of Rs. 40-50 crore. It is likely to make its final close in March 2017.
About Villgro, and its services
P R Ganapthy of Menterra currently leads Villgro. The incubator has a firm social upliftment orientation which is geared towards creating a thriving eco-system which inspires, recognizes, nurtures and transforms innovation and enterprises to impact lives. It thus believes in nurturing the dreams of the ever-rising downtrodden, and seeks to convert these dreams into reality. Villgro provides end-to-end incubation-related services. These include funding support, mentoring, talent guidance and effective networking. It provides boosts to startups by asking them about the exact stage in which their enterprise is sited. The identification of the stage is achieved through a rigorous process. The incubator has recently integrated the programmes previously offered-Entrepreneur-in-Residence and SEED-into a single, comprehensive incubation service, which facilitates strategic support.
The Menterra angle, and conclusion
Menterra itself is also looking to invest in incubation solutions at a strategic level. Menterra is also looking for tie-ups with Lemelson Foundation, and the Michael and Susan Dell foundation, and it may also bring together HNIs such as Meenakshi Raman of Pratham Education Foundation and Chandu Nair of the Scope e-Knowledge Center together.
Overall, the success of Villgro, an incubator with a humane face, seems assured.