ACT Grants partners with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, others to combat Covid-19

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on May 14, 2020 Published on May 14, 2020

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation and Wadhwani Foundation have joined Action Covid-19 Team (ACT) Grants as donors and will extend the outreach of the initiative.

ACT Grants is an Indian not-for-profit grant set up by venture capital investors and start-up founders, which has crossed the initial milestone of Rs 100 crore.

Gates Foundation will be a part of the projects’ selection process and will support 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 and improvement of the long term Indian healthcare system, the company said in a statement.

Further, the Foundation will provide pro-bono consulting services to these projects to facilitate capacity, stability and growth, it said.

ACT Grants brings together the collective strength of over 50 venture capital firms, 40 start-ups and some of India’s most celebrated 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.

“As India continues to fight Covid-19, we wanted to do our part and bring about a scalable impact in the fight against Covid-19. This partnership is a step towards our sustained effort to fight this global pandemic which has affected economies, businesses and societies at large. 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,” Mohit Bhatnagar, a spokesperson from ACT Grants, said.

“The ACT Grants team has an ambitious and admirable vision to support the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic in India, and we are supporting them in their goal. We believe that a sustained and collaborative effort bringing together capital, innovation and technological solutions will be required -to meet this challenge,” M Hari Menon, Director, India office at Gates Foundation said.

ACT Grants was set up by top VC firms such Sequoia India, Accel Partners, Lightspeed Ventures, SAIF Partners, Matrix Partners, Nexus Venture Partners, Kalaari Capital, Chiratae Ventures and Omidyar Network.

Published on May 14, 2020

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