In 2008 along with other Development Financial Institutions such as International Finance Corporation (World Bank Group), CDC, Sifem and FMO, BIO committed 5 million USD to set up the VenturEast Proactive Fund. The Fund is dedicated to investments in Indian SMEs that develop or utilise information and communication technology (ICT) to become leaders in their market and operate in the country’s secondary cities, sub-urban and rural areas.

It is expected that the Fund’s portfolio will include both established companies with high growth potential through the use of ICT and younger companies with proprietary ICT products and low market penetration. A small proportion of the portfolio will be dedicated to incubating businesses, for example assisting Indian entrepreneurs to embark upon new technology ventures.

The Fund Manager APIDC VenturEast, based in Chennai and Hyderabad, has extensive experience in identifying promising technology companies thanks to close relationships with Indian research and development and academic institutions including the Council of Science and Industrial Research, the IIT R&D park in Chennai, and the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad. In addition, APIDC VenturEast has developed strong links with business incubators and has established a Scientific Advisory Board of experts in technology, venture capital and business strategy, to ensure the optimal selection process.

One year on from its inception, the VenturEast Proactive Fund has already invested in seven innovative companies with operations in India’s secondary cities, sub-urban and rural areas. These include:

A company that has developed software for branchless banking, enabling banks and microfinance institutions to better service rural clients;

An engineering and construction company delivering innovations in irrigation, water and sanitation services for sub-urban and rural areas;

A speech technology company specialising in Indian colloquialisms of English and local languages mainly for the telecoms sector and enterprises requiring voice-based interfaces for clients and employees in sub-urban and rural areas;

An internet-based direct marketing firm that develops products that engage semi-urban customers outside the reach of traditional retailers.

By bridging the existing development gap between India’s main cities and its secondary cities, semi-urban and rural areas, the development impact of the VenturEast Proactive Fund will be felt extensively across India. With major investment from BIO and others, the Fund is already successfully mobilising long-term capital and providing business advisory services to established and early stage SMEs in India. By continuing to do so, the Fund will foster expansion, productivity and the creation of sustainable employment in India’s less developed areas.

Website :

  • Investment amount (€):

    USD 5 million

    Registered offices: Mauritius Beneficiary countries: India

  • Contract signature :


  • Development impacts :

    • 1 — Mobilisation of long-term capital for SMEs
    • 2 — Provision of business advisory services for SMEs
    • 3 — Bridging the development gap between urban and rural areas