Haqdarshak Raises INR 6.65 Cr In Pre-Series A Round
Looking at the current surge in COVID-19 cases, the social enterprise startup will use the funds to launch and expand vaccination plus health insurance coverage-focused services at the last mile with a digital push and invest in plug and play tech tools
Haqdarshak Empowerment Solutions Private Limited (HESPL) on Tuesday announced a new investment to close its pre-Series A round. Haqdarshak is raising INR 6.65 crore in this round. Investors including The Deepak Group, Impact India Investment Partners LLC, Beyond Capital Fund, and Shalini Chhabra, 3i Partners, were part of the round which closed this month. The round was kicked off in July 2020, led by Acumen Fund and supported by Upaya Social Ventures.
“Our commitment and vision of ensuring every citizen and small business in India get access to government schemes and services are strengthened with this investment. We are focused on our solutions for COVID-19 response, services for MSMEs, and new digital offerings for our last mile. This investment round will help us scale up our core platforms and reach our goal of ensuring 100 million citizens get access to government financial services by 2030. We are extremely happy and excited our investors have shown faith in this vision, especially in the current pandemic business environment. Their expertise in scaling businesses will help us build core teams going forward. We have recently launched the Haqdarshak app on the Google Play Store,” Aniket Doegar, chief executive officer and founder, Haqdarshak.
Haqdarshak ensures citizens at the last mile get access to government and private welfare and schemes and services. This is done through a mobile and web SaaS platform for corporate partners complemented by a training platform used by community women entrepreneurs.
“Ensuring the underserved households get the benefits that they are entitled to be very critical for their socio-economic inclusion, especially in these challenging times. While many organizations work on government scheme linkages, Haqdarshak’s technology enables it to do it at a scale that is unmatched. A data-driven approach will also play a critical role in improving the effectiveness of its service,” mentioned Dr. Ruchi Mehta, strategy lead, Deepak Group.
Access to social welfare and financial inclusion services at the last mile has been a critical challenge in India. Only 40 per cent of Indians are able to apply for the government services and goods that they need, a 2017 World Bank study concluded adding that citizens could not simply afford the time and money they spent to access such services, the company shared.
Looking at the current surge in COVID-19 cases, the company will use the funds to launch and expand vaccination plus health insurance coverage-focused services at the last mile with a digital push and invest in plug-and-play tech tools. These services will be mainly focused on migrants, daily wage earners, urban poor, and rural Indians. The funds will also be used for hiring quality talent in execution and tech teams and strengthening the current monitoring and evaluation process.
“With a disproportionate cost of the pandemic being paid by the most vulnerable communities such as migrant workers, rural populations, and members at the lowest strata of the society, there is a great need to ensure delivery of government benefits to those most in need. We were impressed by the commitment of the Haqdarshak team, their proactiveness in responding to the crisis, and their traction to date. We believe that technology-based solutions will be key to achieving impact at scale and will be critical in bridging the access gap for India's poor to their intended government welfare schemes. We are delighted to partner with the fabulous team at Haqdarshak led by Aniket and inspired by the difference they seek to make,” commented Shalini Chhabra, 3i Partners.
Haqdarshak has also been recently selected in the Action COVID-19 and has been on the Omidyar COVID Relief teams’ grantee list. It has launched a multilingual helpline to support users for vaccination registrations, as well as linking them to government health insurance which provides cover for COVID-19 related testing and hospitalization expenses.
“Through Haqdarshak’s innovative business model and the vision of its founders, the company is making a distinct difference in India’s communities by democratizing how government subsidies are distributed and received by the people who need them the most. The team’s commitment to greater financial inclusion and access to healthcare, as well as gender equity, exemplifies what Beyond Capital looks for in our portfolio partners,” added Eva Yazhari, co-founder and chief executive officer, Beyond Capital.
Haqdarshak had earlier raised angel funding in May 2016 from investors which include - Ex Villgro India president PR Ganapathy, Wonderchef MD Ravi Saxena, co-Founder SamaaruPvt Ltd. Sandeep Raju, executive director HUL PrabhaNarsimhan, McKinsey senior partner Ramesh Srinivasan, and senior managing director, OMERS Capital Markets Ashish Goyal among others.
Over the last five years, Haqdarshak has reached out to more than 1 million families and supported over 600,000 beneficiaries with welfare schemes, while channelizing $67 million in benefits value. The Haqdarshak tech platform has digitized 7000 welfare schemes and field operations are present in 22 states. The company has also recently launched the Haqdarshak app on the Google Play Store. One of the most recent initiatives by Haqdarshak is the launch of its MSME-focused platform to offer application support services to them to apply for eligible welfare schemes.