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Aavishkaar Capital launches $250 mn ESG First Fund

Leveraging on the global drive for sustainability and equality, the ESG First Fund is a $250 million fund focused on investing in Africa and Asia with the mandate of generating superior ESG outcomes and commercially viable financial returns alongside positive social impact.

The ESG First Fund is sector agnostic but will focus on companies with high exports towards Europe.

"ESG has traditionally come from a background of compliance and risk mitigation. And we are moving that value creation. They are two very, very different things. Compliance is a checklist whereas value creation is where you apply yourself and say how do we take this beyond and above where regulations or basic requirements have to be met," said Ashish Patel, managing partner, ESG First Fund - Aavishkaar Capital.

"You can get access to more capital, differentiated capital and longer term capital. The kind of capital that was available to you, it can dramatically change," he said. The fund will look to invest in companies with revenues of ₹50 crore to 250 crore and the fund has a long life of 15 years.

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