A clutch of venture capital firms and homegrown entrepreneurs have come together to launch a ₹100-crore grant to fund ideas to combat the Covid-19 outbreak. Companies working to develop solutions to check the spread of the virus will receive funds between ₹10 lakh and ₹1 crore.
Called the Action Covid-19 Team (ACT), the initiative has seen participation of at least 40 venture capital firms, including the likes of Sequoia Capital India, Accel, Lightspeed, Matrix Partners, Chiratae Ventures, and Saif Partners, apart from entrepreneurs such as Mukesh Bansal, cofounder of CureFit, and Abhiraj Bhal, cofounder of Urban Company (formerly called UrbanClap).
Global funds such as SoftBank, B Capital Group, GGV Capital and Beenext have also contributed to the grant.
Global non-profit United Way Worldwide will manage the grant. The leadership team for ACT grants will look at disbursing the corpus in the next two to four months.
“As members of the startup ecosystem, not only are we feeling the massive impact of Covid-19 in our industry, but, we are also conscious of our collective responsibility in helping fight the long-term effects this global pandemic will have on our society. Through ACT, founders, investment advisors, business leaders and service providers have come together as a community. Our mission is to provide a springboard for Indian startups and innovators in their fight against Covid-19,” members of ACT said in a joint statement.
According to its website, the grant has already backed two initiatives — a project on a Covid-19 helpline, which received ₹25 lakh, and Mylabs, a startup that is developing testing kits, which received ₹1 crore.