Are you building a business with social impact?

Villgro funds and incubates early-stage, innovation-based, for-profit social enterprises that have significant impact on the lives of India’s poor.

Villgro offers a range of funding support to enterprises to address the most significant needs of the business. Our high risk-taking ability allows us to invest in enterprises from prototyping and product development phases to a stage of early growth in the business. Villgro works with enterprises until the business has stabilized and exits once the business has been made investable and is scalable.

Key features:

  • Up to INR 65 lakhs per enterprise
  • Equity, quasi-equity or grant funding support
  • Milestone-based funding support
  • Investment structure / instrument determined by investment committee

"To be funded by Villgro has allowed us to bring in considerable stability to our technical manpower. Resources have come because of Villgro. Without Villgro, this would not have happened."
– Jatin Singh, Founder, Skymet

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Villgro offers high-touch mentorship to entrepreneurs through a structured, intensive process. Our incubatees receive guidance on all aspects of the business from a senior member of Villgro’s team. Additionally, each enterprise is paired with a seasoned entrepreneur or business professional who provides strategic and business support. Villgro also connects enterprises to sector-specific experts.

Key features:

  • Seasoned mentors with 15+ years of experience
  • 4-8 hours of mentoring every month
  • Strategic, business support and access to networks

"All of our strategy is intricately reviewed and questioned by Villgro at all times. The end result is always a plan which is refined."
– Abhishek Sen, Co-Founder, Biosense

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In the early years of operation, start-up businesses often struggle to attract and retain quality talent. Villgro seeks to bridge this gap through the Villgro Fellowship. Villgro Fellows come from diverse professional backgrounds, and are placed with enterprises for one year to help contribute to areas that are critical for the enterprise including, product design, business development, operations and customer acquisition.

Key features:

  • Fellow placed with enterprise for 12 months
  • Clearly defined responsibilities and deliverables
  • Selection of Fellows by Villgro, in collaboration with entrepreneur

"A totally different perspective comes into your business with the Villgro Fellow."
– Svati Bhogle, Founder, Sustaintech

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Villgro has built a strong network of downstream investors, knowledge and network partners who will help you in your entrepreneurial journey. Through Villgro’s Unconvention|Local events and Speaker Series, entrepreneurs also have the opportunity to meet and network with others in the ecosystem who can benefit the enterprise.

Key features:

  • Downstream investment partners
  • Networking through Unconvention|Local and Speaker Series
  • Sector-based networks

"They are able to expand your boundaries and connect you with the right people."
– Saloni Malhotra, Founder, Desicrew

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What stage is your enterprise at?

At this stage, Villgro works with entrepreneurs who have spent at least 6 months on the ground understanding a problem that is significantly affecting the lives of the poor and are committed to developing an optimal solution for the identified problem. We look for entrepreneurs who are committed to solving the problem but are open to changing their solution based on market and customer feedback.

Villgro support:

  • Fund each enterprise up to Rs 6 lakhs
  • Support product design, development and prototyping
  • Help develop a value proposition using design thinking
  • Validate the initial business model

“Without the guidance to do customer research and now prototyping, we would have got the wrong product out and it would have resulted in wasting a lot of time, energy and more importantly money.”

– Mervin Rosario, Founder, Ignus

Once a proof of concept has been established or a prototype has been developed, and some business model assumptions have been validated, Villgro works with entrepreneurs to create a market validated model that can scale. Villgro also helps entrepreneurs raise the necessary funding support required for execution.

Villgro support:

  • Fund each enterprise up to Rs 12 lakhs
  • Help refine the product or service, de-bug the business model and develop financial models
  • Identify risks and challenges to funding support and scale
  • Assist with investor introductions, negotiations and funding support closure

“Villgro helped me sharpen my business roadmap, identify segments to focus on, and understand unit economics better. This had a significant role in my raising funds.”

-Sabarinath C Nair, CEO, Skillveri

By this stage, the enterprise should have attracted customers and generated revenue, showing traction in the market. At this stage, the business moves into a growth phase and Villgro supports the enterprise as it looks to scale its operations.

Villgro support:

  • Provide business support: developing an operating platform, internal processes and controls
  • Identify risks and create a plan for sustainability and scale
  • Build a team
  • Help secure follow-on funding support

"Villgro has unique experience with making businesses sustainable, especially in rural areas, which will help us."

- Ayesha Chaudhury, Co-founder, Windmill Health

By this time, your enterprise has successfully achieved the milestones required and Villgro will exit the company.

You would have:

  • Raised your next round of funding support
  • Achieved organisational break even
  • Have a plan for replication and scale

To work with our entrepreneurs effectively, Villgro has integrated the programmes previously offered (Entrepreneur-In-Residence, SEED) into a more comprehensive incubation service. This allows us to provide longer-term and more strategic support to each enterprise that we incubate.

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