March 1, 2022
The SVL-SME Fund (Neev II Fund) has been launched by SBICAP Ventures Limited as an initiative for investing equity into high-impact climate action, sustainability, and social impact businesses especially for SMEs - Small and Medium Enterprises- in India. The Neev II Fund currently has global and domestic investors including the EIB, FCDO, SIDBI, SRI Fund and the SBI Group as sponsors.
The Fund is rapidly adding global investors to its cohort and has unlocked a pool of private equity capital from JICA - Japan's International Cooperation Agency in December 2021.
On 24 December 2021, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) concluded a 2.14 billion Indian rupee (approximately 3.2 billion yen) investment agreement with the SVL-SME Fund (commonly known as Neev II Fund), whose fund manager is SBICAP Ventures Limited (SVL), a subsidiary of India's largest state-owned bank, State Bank of India (SBI). JICA's investment will be appropriated for investment in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that are engaged in solving social and environmental issues in India.
With the addition of JICA, Neev II Fund presents an opportunity for developing a strong Japan - India corridor, with the SBI Group at the forefront is focused on the SME space and further strengthening existing ties between the two countries.
The fund has committed to two cutting edge companies- Chakr Innovation, a leading clean-tech company combating climate change by using their proprietary technology to reduce emissions from diesel generator sets and GPS Renewables, a leading bio-energy technology and project integration company.
On 7 February 2022, SBICAP Ventures Limited received Tokyo Financial Award (ESG Investment Category) for Neev Funds. The award ceremony was held for the "Tokyo Financial Award" which was established by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government in 2018 to boost the city's presence as an international financial center.
SBI has been present in Japan since 1980, with the aim to strengthen Indo-Japanese business ties with focus on corporate business from both sides offering a wide range of loan products, such as trade finance, project finance, other customized products suited to the term and structure required for the purpose, apart from the related Forex products and deposit products both for Corporates and Individuals.
JICA and SVL strategic partnership
JICA and SVL will continue its efforts to support SMEs and funds that are tackling environmental and social issues in India by leveraging the knowledge and network it has acquired through its collaboration with this fund. This also strengthens the existing relationship between SBI and JICA to take forward their joint cooperation to power the SMEs in India through private sector finance.
With this declaration, JICA and the SVL acknowledge that innovative solutions for climate change and environmental sustainability require innovative financing tools. With the support of JICA and SBI, Neev II Fund will provide equity and quasi-equity financing to pioneering SMEs that deliver solutions that benefit the population both locally and globally. In the Declaration Ceremony on 1st March, two portfolio companies of Neev Funds delivered a presentation on their business that are solving environmental and social concerns. JICA and SVL will collaborate through the Development Impact Committee of Neev II Fund and Tsunagaru Lab which is JICA's initiative that provides a platform to innovative social enterprises.
Suresh Kozhikote, MD & CEO of SBICAP Ventures said: "We are delighted to embark on this strategic partnership with JICA to provide a platform for innovative SMEs that solve major environmental and social issues in India."
Mr. Shohei Hara, Director General, JICA said: "JICA will continue working closely with the SVL-SME Fund (Neev II) to gather and disseminate knowledge on ESG and impact investments and strive to solve pressing issues in India."
About SBICAP Ventures Ltd (SVL):
SBICAP Ventures Ltd., a subsidiary company of SBI, is an alternative asset manager based in India. SVL manages funds across private equity and real estate as well as fund of funds mandates.
About the JICA:
Established, by a specific law, as an incorporated administrative institution under the Government of Japan, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) aims to contribute to the promotion of international cooperation, as a sole Japanese governmental agency in charge of ODA implementation. JICA is the world's largest bilateral donor agency. JICA works as a bridge between Japan and emerging countries, and provides assistance in forms of loan, grant, technical cooperation and private sector investment finance so that the emerging countries can strengthen their capabilities.
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