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Nandan Nilekani joins Gates-led $500 million Co-Impact fund

Ekstep will be the technical partner with its open knowledge platform

Alnoor Peermohamed  |  Bengaluru 

Nandan Nilekani, Nilekani

Infosys co-founder and his wife Rohini have joined a grouping of billionaire philanthropists including Bill and to set up a fund that targets social impact at a large scale.

The grouping, which is called Co-Impact, has been set up with an initial corpus of $500 million and will focus providing healthcare, education, and economic opportunity to the underserved populus in developing countries.

EkStep Foundation, which is founded by Nilekani and his wife Rohini will be a technical partner of Co-Impact, supporting the initiative with its open knowledge platform as well as with capacity building, said a statement from

"At EkStep Foundation, we are investing in creating open digital public goods. Our intent is for it to benefit an ecosystem of innovators who can create contextual solutions for the development sector through the Societal Platforms approach,” said Rohini and

Other core partners of the fund include Richard Chandler, Jeff Skoll, Dr. Romesh and Kathy Wadhwani, and The Rockefeller Foundation. will also partner and bring onboard other investors for specific initiatives or in specific geographies to contribute to its cause.

will start making its first grants in the first half of 2018, which will provide funding of up to $50 million. Each grant will be made only after a year’s worth of due diligence and field research, ensuring that initiatives which can create a huge impact receive the funding they deserve.

The initiative has been born out of the need for a large capital fund to fund large social impact projects. It also gives billionaires a medium to make large grants, something which a lot of them struggle to do individually even if they’re willing to invest large amounts of money on philanthropy.

First Published: Wed, November 15 2017. 23:59 IST