ACT funds Rs 100-crore initiative on venture capital firms and startup founders to help firms working on solutions to fight Corona Virus in India.
Four months of its launch, ACT (Action COVID – 19 team) Grants, a not for profit initiative of venture capital firms and startup founders, has disbursed more than Rs 64 crore among 55 firms working on solutions to fight the Corona Virus in India.
The Rs. 100-crore initiative was started by venture capital firms such as Sequoia India, Accel Partners, Lightspeed Ventures, and SAIF Partners to support startups working on products or services in response to the COVID-19 crisis. The startups have raised grants including those manufacturing protective gear and medical equipment and those working in the field of mental wellness.
StepOne, which launched a national COVID-19 telemedicine helpline, received Rs 25 lakh. Pune-based MyLab that has developed and manufactures RT PCR testing kit for Corona Virus. At the onset of the pandemic, in the country, shortage of gloves, protective clothing, face shields, goggles, and other such gear was coming in the way of the fight against the virus as imports and supply chains were hit by the concealment of borders.
The situation has since eased as more and more manufacturers chip in with PPEs.
Shekhar Kirani and Prashanth Prakash, partners at Accel, Mohit Bhatnagar, managing director of Sequoia Capital, Vani Kola, managing director of Kalaari Capital, Mekin Maheshwari, founder of Udhyam Foundation, and Abhiraj Bahl, founder of Urban Company, are the other members of the investment committee.
Besides funding, ACT Grants is also providing startups access to networks and mentorship. It has partnered with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Wadhwani Foundation, and Michael and Susan Dell Foundation to support them in expanding their outreach.