Soros, Google float fund for SMEs
New Delhi: The Soros Economic Development Fund (SEDF), Omidyar Network, and have come together to create a $17 million investment company just for India. The company called Small to Medium Enterprise Investment Company for India will provide equity capital to small and medium businesses in under served markets. The idea is to create jobs and spur greater economic participation for a larger segment of the population. The joint investment company where SEDF and Omidyar have put in $6 million each and Google has invested another $5 million, will be providing equity capital ranging between $500,000 to $3.5 million to to Indian SMEs. ‘‘The idea is to finance under capitalised and under invested sectors with high social returns. For example, a waste collection company or a company which does skill training for lower income people would score over a tech company or a BPO for funding,’’ says Reuben Abraham, ISB director and SEDF board member. Abraham is the senior advisor leading the India team. The company will be located at the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad to leverage the school’s SME expertise. They plan to hire an investment advisor and two experienced senior investment analysts to run the India operations. The idea behind the company came up two years back when investor George Soros visited India. They realised, even though SMEs hire a huge number of people, financing is a problem. ‘‘Most SMEs make investments in $3-$5 million range, leaving out a significant portion of this market. Our company will fill that ‘missing link’,’’ says Abraham. Blackstone to invest up to Rs 242cr in Allcargo Global Private equity firm Blackstone group will invest up to Rs 242.4 crore in Allcargo Global by subscribing to equity shares of the logistics service provider on preferential basis. The board of directors of Allcargo Global at its meeting on February 19, has approved raising up to Rs 242.4 crore by way of issuance of securities or instruments to Blackstone and its affiliates on preferential basis, it said. “It has been really fulfilling to have our business strength endorsed by none other than a fund of the stature of Blackstone. This I believe is true value creation for the stakeholders of the company, who will be able to reap the benefits in the years to come,” Allcargo Global CMD Shashi Kiran Shetty said. PTI