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Excl: Sankhya Women Impact Fund to invest under $500K each in Milaap, MarkSharks

Sankhya Women Impact Fund (SWIF), an early-stage fund for women entrepreneurs, is planning to invest up to Rs 3 crore (around $470,000) each in charity-focused crowd-funding venture Milaap and e-learning venture MarkSharks, a top executive of SWIF told Techcircle.in.

SWIF, which is currently awaiting SEBI registration under the AIF norms, is in the process of raising $8-10 million which will look to invest in a total of 15 startups by April next year.

"The fund will back up to 15 startups, half of which will be tech ventures," said Shloka Nath, executive director of SWIF. "We are mainly looking at sectors like education, healthcare and skill development that can generate considerable social impact," she added.

SWIF was launched by Shloka and Reena Mithal. While Sholka holds a Masters degree in Public Policy from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, Reena is a PhD in Economics and Finance from Columbia University. Prior to setting up SWIF, Shloka worked as a journalist with BBC in London.

Run by India- and US-based consulting and strategic advisory firm Sankhya Partners Pvt Ltd, SWIF is an early-stage fund for economically-disadvantaged women. SWIF will focus both on financial and social returns, said Shloka.

SWIF recently secured $1 million in funding from its anchor investors including former Thermax chairperson Anu Aga, her daughter Meher Pudumjee, besides AZB & Partners fame Zia Mody, Max Group's Tara Singh and Deepika Jindal, MD of JSL Architecture Ltd.

"Our investors understand the limits on returns and the time horizons over which we can expect social enterprises to begin realising these returns," Shloka added.

Other startups identified by the fund for investment include LabourNetArakuNEST Education and Bodhi Healthcare, among others.

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