The Kohli Impact Investment Initiative is a newly launched USD$ 25m fund, dedicated to high impact investments,focused across areas including Artificial Intelligence & Robotics, FinTech, Genomics, AgTech and Renewables.
The fund welcomes applications by organisations and projects with disruptive ideas and whose intention is to generate social and environmental impact alongside a financial return. It is committed to investing in people and innovative ideas, primarily entrepreneurs and companies at early / growth stages of their development. More than just money, the fund will offer experience, expertise, a management infrastructure and access to R&D facilities to help entrepreneurs and organisations develop and scale their businesses.
The fund is backed by the family office of Tej Kohli, a serial entrepreneur, global businessman and philanthropist, with a focus on technology enabled investments that have a social impact, across sectors including Artificial Intelligence & Robotics, FinTech, E-commerce Technology, Genomics and AgTech and renewables.
Fund investments will be made in early and growth stage businesses, primarily in the technology, renewable energy, property, AgTech and medical innovations sectors, for which Mr Kohli is a significant investor.
Over the past 30 years, Mr Kohli has invested in start-ups and high-growth companies across the globe, building businesses including Elegant Technology, Cedars Online, and Dynacart Solutions, and successfully exiting from GrafixSoftech. In December 2015, Mr Kohli invested $10 million into the Zynergy Group, a full service company in the growing solar energy industry based in Chennai and Singapore. Zynergy experienced high growth in 2016, with potential orders of over USD $ 6 billion of its innovative solar powered irrigation pumps backed by the Indian government. Mr Kohli has also recently announce an investment through his limited partnership in Cascade Global, into RaptorMaps, a Cambridge-based startup that uses drone and mapping technology to help farmers increase the yield of their crops.
Impact investing challenges the common view that social and environmental issues should only be addressed and supported through charitable donations, and that market investments should focus solely on achieving financial returns.
In reality, the impact investing market offers a diverse range of viable opportunities for investors to advance many social and environment issues and causes through investments that also produce financial returns. Through this avenue investors are also able to support the progress and development of innovative solutions on challenging global issues.