Fund manager CBA Capital has successfully completed the first close of Education Catalyst Fund
(ECF), a $20 million fund focused on supporting edtech companies
that offer solutions to low-income families in the fields of education, jobs and livelihoods.
ECF is an onshore fund established under the Alternative Investment Fund Category-II scheme of the Securities and Exchange Board of India
(Sebi). It is also the first multi-investor fund to focus exclusively on affordable education, jobs and livelihood opportunities in the country.
The investors include Gray Matters Capital
(GMC), Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, and a few private investors in India.
ECF is structured as an 8-year close-ended fund aimed at supporting companies
in the early part of their lifecycle with seed and series A stage investments. ECF aims to support around 15 companies
during the eight-year period and these companies
are expected to touch over one million low income households over their lifetime.
Over the past three years, CBA Capital has established a deep understanding of the space working with young edtech companies
through “India Education Investment Fund” (IEIF), a proprietary fund of Michael & Susan Dell Foundation.
IEIF focuses exclusively on early stage, high quality, affordable education and skilling solutions targeted at urban low-income families.
It has seed funded six young companies
till date (Oliveboard, ChipperSage, GuruG, Report Bee, School Mitra and Select Jobs) that have demonstrated strong traction in scaling up their businesses.
Speaking about ECF, Geeta Goel, vice-president, Mission Investing at Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, said, “Over the years, we have seen that the foundation’s impact can be expedited through high quality market based solutions that show demonstrable improvements in education and employment levels of our target segment. Our strategy of supporting early stage companies
through funds is geared towards catalysing such solutions, and then nurturing them to scale and sustainability. We were pleased to see the traction in IEIF, and decided to continue our support to CBA Capital in setting up a larger, multi-investor fund.”