Suzuki’s Next Bharat Ventures launches Rs 340 cr fund for social impact startups

New Delhi: Japanese automobile company Suzuki Motor Corporation’s subsidiary Next Bharat Ventures IFSC Private Limited on Thursday launched a Rs 340 crore investment fund — Next Bharat — that aims to act as a growth catalyst for the social impact startup ecosystem in India.

Next Bharat is a social impact investment fund dedicated to fostering impact entrepreneurs who are creating value for Tier II and below geographies. It aims to empower India’s next billion by supporting these impact entrepreneurs.

“Bharat has about 1.4 billion people, but we have only reached about 0.4 billion with our mobility business. Our goal is to connect with the ‘Next Billion’ people of India, extending beyond mobility and becoming a part of India’s future story,” Toshihiro Suzuki, President and CEO of Suzuki Motor, said in a statement.

Next Bharat will support and invest in social entrepreneurs working in the fields of agriculture, financial inclusion, supply chain and mobility through the fund, with the aim of solving social issues in India through business.

“The Next Bharat investment framework focuses on horizontal scaling, aiming to create hundreds of profitable SMEs over a fund cycle, rather than concentrating on creating just two or three unicorns per fund cycle,” said Vipul Nath Jindal, CEO and MD of Next Bharat.

The company’s flagship initiative, the ‘Next Bharat Residency programme’ includes a 4-month immersive residency for early-stage entrepreneurs.

The applications for the residency program are now open for all early-stage impact entrepreneurs.

The application deadline is set for July 31, and the programme is scheduled to commence on October 14, the company mentioned.

People selected for the programme will remain part of the Next Bharat community for life, receiving ongoing support and resources even after its conclusion. Post the residency programme, the selected startups will get Rs 1 crore to Rs 5 crore of equity Investments.


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