Impact investment firm Aavishkaar has invested in the SriLankan logistics solutions provider Grasshoppers Pvt Ltd. This is the second investment of Aavishkaar Frontier Fund in Sri Lanka, after investment in Ma’s Tropical Foods in 2016.
Grasshoppers plans to deploy funding to set up an island-wide distribution network that would provide the local communities participating in the business model with income opportunities.
Commenting on the investment, Sanchayan Chakraborty Partner at Aavishkaar said, “Grasshoppers has tremendous potential for scaling up its business with its combination of excellent management team with track record of building successful businesses, approach of developing curated technology offering for the market, lean growth model and focus on promotion of entrepreneurship in the hinterland of Sri Lanka. We have seen disruptive innovations in the logistics sector by tech-enabled players in other markets and are very bullish on the success of Grasshoppers in Sri Lanka.”
Grasshoppers Pvt Ltd was founded by Mr. Dulith Herath, founder of Kapruka.com which is the leading e-commerce player in Sri Lanka and Dr. Harsha Liyanage, the founder of Sarvodaya Fusion, a unique not-for-profit self-sustaining model promoting IT Education across Sri Lanka through 100+ franchisees across the island.
“I see e-commerce as a goldmine and Grasshoppers as the mining tool that we give to all entrepreneurs. We hope this tool enables more people to join the e-commerce revolution as we have taken away a major barrier for startups, that of timely delivery of the product,” said Herath, who is also the CEO of Grasshoppers.
On another hand, Aavishkaar, part of the Aavishkaar – Intellecap Group is a global pioneer in Entrepreneurship Based Approach to Development through venture capital investments in enterprises working with the low-income population in rural and underserved markets.
Aavishkaar began with a focus on early-stage enterprises operating in India, and with the Frontier Fund in 2015, became the first Indian venture capital fund to foray internationally, investing in enterprises operating in South and South East Asia.
The Grasshoppers’ investment is the fifth investment from its Frontier Fund, a regional fund which invests in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Indonesia. Since its incorporation in 2002, Aavishkaar has made more than 58 investments and currently manages US$ 200 million of funds.