Bill Gates, the billionaire founder of Microsoft, has pledged an investment in the Unitus Seed Fund – an impact fund that focuses on social, economic and technological development in India.
Unitus Seed announced Sunday that the investment fund had managed to raise $4 million from 16 Indian High Net worth Individuals and three off-shore US investors that include Diego Piacentini, Steve Singh and Bill Gates for its impact funding venture.
Impact funding is focused on investing in small businesses and is used to bolster commercial growth in disadvantaged communities. Unitus Seed Fund is one of India's leading venture capital firms that support start-ups in the country.
Unitus said that it currently has $20 million to invest across retail, mobile commerce, healthcare and education in the country and has already invested in 14 areas.
Gates' investment is personal and is not a part of the "Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation," which works religiously toward health and social development in India, Unitus notes.
"Impact investing is a powerful model with the potential to build markets and drive change for the people who need it most," Gates was quoted by Unitus.
Gates has always believed in India's power of innovation. In a 2012 interview with NDTV, the billionaire philanthropist lauded India's "culture of innovation."
"A lot of progress has come from the nation's culture of innovation, which has produced some really original and creative solutions. Yet, aid also has played an important role. Our foundation has invested more than $1 billion USD in programs to fight disease and poverty in India. I'm pleased with the results, and we will invest more in the future," he said in the interview.
India currently ranks 76th on the Global Innovation Index 2014. Though the country slipped 10 places from last year's rankings, India's quality universities, IT services and exports were particular high performers.
In fact, six Indian infrastructure projects were named in the World's most innovative infrastructure investments list recently.
Economic and political instability pulled India back a few ranks but the Modi government is trying to fix that. Also, with the success of India's debut Mars mission, India has managed to emerge a hero in the field.
Below is a video that explains India's innovation in the simplest form: