Next Bharat Ventures, led by Vipul Nath Jindal, has begun accepting candidates for its four-month accelerator programme.

Vipul Nath Jindal

Image of Vipul Nath Jindal, CEO and managing director of Next Bharat, courtesy of LinkedIn.

Japanese automotive manufacturer Suzuki Motor Corporation has formed an India-based, impact-driven corporate venture capital arm called Next Bharat Ventures.

The inaugural Next Bharat Venture Fund-1 is equipped with $40m and will focus on social impact startups in India, in areas like agriculture, financial inclusion, rural supply chain and rural mobility.

The corporate already runs Suzuki Innovation Centre in Kandi, a locality near the Indian city of Hyderabad. The open innovation hub was set up in 2022 in association with research university Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad, and it will now be part of Next Bharat Ventures.

Until the end of this month, the CVC unit is also accepting applications for its four-month Next Bharat Residency accelerator scheme, set to begin in October. Selected entrepreneurs will have access to mentoring, networking and collaboration opportunities, and each startup may receive equity funding between INR10m and INR40m ($120,000 and $480,000).

“The Next Bharat investment framework focuses on horizontal scaling, aiming to create hundreds of profitable SMEs over a fund cycle, rather than concentrating on creating just two or three unicorns per fund cycle,” said Vipul Nath Jindal (pictured), chief executive and managing director of Next Bharat.

“There are existing stakeholders in the ecosystem who are already enabling these amazing impact entrepreneurs in many ways. Our long-term ambition is to work closely with these stakeholders and bring them together to build compounding synergies within the ecosystem.”

In recent weeks, Japanese IT and electronics firm Fujitsu tasked its corporate venture capital arm, Fujitsu Ventures, with an impact investing mandate. Previously, the group targeted technologies strategically relevant to its parent firm’s business such as IT, digitalisation and user experience.

Kei Onishi, CEO of Japan-headquartered mobility technology group Yamaha Motor’s $100m Yamaha Motor Sustainability Fund launched in 2022, however, told GCV that due to a 50% decrease in overall sustainability investment in 2023, it is pivoting to AI technology applied in manufacturing.

Edison Fu

Edison Fu is a reporter and Asia liaison at Global Corporate Venturing.