LONDON (Dow Jones)--CDC Group PLC on Monday said it has invested $50 million in the Pragati Venture and Incubator Fund, the first-ever equity investment fund to focus on the very poorest parts of India.
Pragati will invest and play an active role in developing companies across various sectors including healthcare, ancillary infrastructure services, ancillary oil and gas services, manufacturing and education. These companies will be at a stage where they require professional management and processes in order to grow.
"CDC is making a significant investment in Pragati because it is a truly pioneering venture with the potential to bring economic development to the very poorest states of India," said Anubha Shrivastava, CDC managing director, Asia.
CDC is a U.K. government-backed private-equity fund-of-funds that invests in the emerging markets of south Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. It has net assets of GBP2.8 billion.
Founded and led by Narayanan Shadagopan, a successful investment banker with a career in New York and London, Pragati will focus on the eight poorest states of India: Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Orissa and West Bengal.