Suzuki's Next Bharat Ventures Launches Rs 340 Crore Fund for Social Impact Startups


SuzukiSuzuki Motor Corporation’s subsidiary, Next Bharat Ventures IFSC Private Limited, has launched a Rs 340 crore investment fund, Next Bharat, to accelerate growth in India's social impact startup ecosystem. This initiative aims to support startups that drive value in Tier II and lower-tier regions, focusing on sectors such as agriculture, financial inclusion, supply chain, and mobility.

Next Bharat, introduced on Thursday, positions itself as a social impact investment fund dedicated to fostering entrepreneurs targeting the 'Next Billion' of India’s population. "Bharat has about 1.4 billion people, but we have only reached about 0.4 billion with our mobility business. Our goal is to connect with the 'Next Billion' people of India, extending beyond mobility and becoming a part of India's future story", stated Toshihiro Suzuki, President and CEO of Suzuki Motor Corporation.

The fund aims to nurture social entrepreneurs by providing financial backing and resources, focusing on solving social challenges through business innovation. Next Bharat emphasizes horizontal scaling, with a strategy to create numerous profitable SMEs over each fund cycle, rather than merely focusing on a few high-value unicorns, according to Vipul Nath Jindal, CEO and MD of Next Bharat.

A key initiative under this fund is the 'Next Bharat Residency Programme', a 4-month immersive residency designed for early-stage impact entrepreneurs. This program is currently accepting applications until July 31, with the program commencing on October 14. Selected participants will receive continuous support and resources as part of the Next Bharat community, with equity investments ranging from Rs 1 crore to Rs 5 crore offered post-residency.

The fund's launch underscores Suzuki’s commitment to broadening its influence beyond the automotive sector, aligning with India’s future growth by empowering social entrepreneurs who can address critical issues in underserved regions. This strategic move aims to stimulate economic development and foster sustainable solutions for India’s next billion people.

By investing in these early-stage ventures, Next Bharat Ventures seeks to create substantial social impact and contribute to the development of a robust startup ecosystem across various sectors.