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ACT Grants partners with Gates Foundation, MSDF & Wadhwani Foundation

Posted: Sunday, May 17, 2020

ACT Grants partners with Gates Foundation, MSDF & Wadhwani Foundation for combating COVID-19

ACT Grants said it has brought together the collective strength of over 50 venture capital firms, 40 start-ups and some of India's entrepreneurs in the fight against COVID-19.

BENGALURU: The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation and Wadhwani Foundation have partnered with Action Covid-19Team (ACT) Grants, India's not-for-profit grant set up by some venture capital investors and start-up founders, which has crossed the initial milestone of Rs 100 crore. 

The three Foundations have joined ACT Grants as donors and will extend the outreach of the initiative, it said in a statement. 

Gates Foundation will be a part of the projects' selection process and will support the project execution, with a focus on States such as Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. 

Wadhwani Foundation will also provide grants for selected projects, with a focus on immediate impact as well as improvement of the long term Indian healthcare system. Further, the Foundation will provide pro-bono consulting services to these projects to facilitate capacity, stability and growth, it said. 

ACT Grants said it has brought together the collective strength of over 50 venture capital firms, 40 start-ups and some of India's entrepreneurs in the fight against COVID-19. 

"ACT has disbursed grants to 39 start-ups in 43 days. These grants fall in the areas of telemedicine, mass scale testing, patient tracking, suspect monitoring, contact tracing and manufacturing of PPE kits, all geared to combat COVID-19," the statement said. 

Mohit Bhatnagar, a spokesperson from ACT Grants, said, "We share the same philanthropic outlook of all the foundations involved, and look forward to working with and leveraging their experience and expertise to serve our objective." 

Geeta Goel, Country Director, Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, said: "Our partnership with the ACT Grants team will enable teams to address quick local solutions to minimize the risks created by COVID-19." 

ACT is a coalition of VCs, start-up community founders, entrepreneurs, investors and other industry veterans, according to the statement. 

The team has come together to provide grants between Rs one lakh and Rs ten crore to start-ups and initiatives that are harnessing technology to create large-scale impact in the detection, prevention and eradication of COVID-19, it said. 

ACT Grants is an initiative set up by VC firms such as Sequoia India, Accel Partners, Lightspeed Ventures, SAIF Partners, Matrix Partners, Nexus Venture Partners, Kalaari Capital, Chiratae Ventures, and Omidyar Network along with entrepreneurs like Mukesh Bansal and Abhiraj Bhal in order to support the fight against COVID-19 by leveraging technology for scalable impact, it was stated.

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