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SONG to fund affordable edu, healthcare

Tuesday, 3 August 2010 - 3:00am IST | Place: Hyderabad | Agency: DNA
The firm is said to have proven the viability of the affordable eye-care model in the north and is ready to scale the model with the potential to touch the lives of over 5,00,000 people in the next 5 years.

SONG Advisors has decided to pump in about $4 million (Rs 18.5 crore) in two ventures in affordable education and healthcare.
SONG, backed by the Soros Economic Development Fund, Omidyar Network and Google, in academic partnership with the Centre for Emerging Markets Solutions (CEMS) at the Indian School of Business (ISB), has selected K-12 Techno Services of Andhra Pradesh and the Gurgaon-based Eye Q Vision.

K-12 Techno Services, a school management company, currently offers integrated school management services to affordable K-12 schools in Andhra Pradesh. The company has about 20 schools in its fold and is now planning to expand the footprint to about 100 schools.

Similarly, Eye Q Vision, an affordable eye-care hospital chain based in Gurgaon, operates eight eye care hospitals on a hub-and-spoke model across Haryana, Delhi, Uttaranchal and Uttar Pradesh and is planning to expand its network to another 20 towns in the next two to three years.

The firm is said to have proven the viability of the affordable eye-care model in the north and is ready to scale the model with the potential to touch the lives of over 5,00,000 people in the next 5 years.

“The objective of the fund, which has a pool of about $17 million, is to provide early stage investment to those businesses that find it difficult to raise funds from conventional sources. In fact, these small businesses have a large social impact and the fund would look at investing in them. K-12 Techno, for instance, does not belong to those high-end schools, but it is not cheap as well.

The social impact of expanding that school chain is important for the fund. Similarly, the eye-care activity is not as developed in south in the northern areas. So, we have now found these two companies to have potential to offer significant social impact,” Professor Reuben Abraham, senior advisor to the fund executive director of CEMS told DNA.

SONG is also gearing up to fund two more ventures by the year-end.




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