Haqdarshak Empowerment Solutions Private Limited (HESPL) has announced a new investment to close its Pre-Series A1 round. New institutional Investors including Innovating Justice Fund and Village Capital-managed Financial Health Innovation Fund have now joined the cap table along with 22 other investors.
Some of the new investors in Haqdarshak include Abhishek Rungta, Founder & CEO, of INT, Deep Bajaj, Co-founder, of Sirona Hygiene, Bhavin Pandya, co-founder and CEO, of Games 24X7, M/S Morpheus Ananta, Bindu Subramaniam, singer-songwriter and co-founder and CEO, SaPa, and independent investors, Girish Kulkarni, and Mohit Bajaj.
Investors from the famed Shark Tank India panel—Namita Thapar, Peyush Bansal and Aman Gupta—have also participated in the round. Existing investors including The Deepak Group, Acumen Fund, Beyond Capital Fund and Shalini Chhabra, 3i Partners, and Mukund Santhanam, were also part of the round which closed in March 2023.
Haqdarshak is bridging the information and access gap between citizens and social protection services (both government and private) using tech and a last-mile field agent network of ‘Haqdarshaks’ (most of whom are women). The company has digitized (and continues to digitize) information related to government schemes on its multiple digital portals in 11 vernacular languages. Present in 24 states in India, Haqdarshak has trained over 30,000 agents so far and provided benefits worth over INR 4200 crore to over 2.7 million families.
The funds from this round will be utilized for investment in tech and talent with a focus on growing the company’s newest product, the Yojana Card. The product is a unique, digitally-enabled social security card for beneficiaries to access government schemes, social security, financial services and other welfare services for their family and business — via a single channel enabled by last-mile support.
Mr Aniket Doegar, CEO & Founder, of Haqdarshak, said “Over the next 12 months, we aim to reach 2 million families. The Yojana Card platform will give them access to a host of welfare services and financial inclusion products. The investment funds will help us build tech infrastructure for the Yojana Card platform with government integrations, software and hardware to scale, and marketing expenses towards user acquisition.”
The organization is now gearing towards launching and scaling direct-to-consumer products and services towards which the new investment funds will be parked for. The current model of working with businesses and philanthropic organizations will continue to fund the company’s operational needs. Overall Haqdarshak aims to impact 100 million Indians by 2030.
“Acumen is excited to lead this round in Haqdarshak and continue our support of the organization’s vision to transform access to social security benefits. Acumen India’s workforce development strategy is centred on leveraging the power of markets to scale innovative solutions that will bolster the economic and social security of India’s vulnerable workforce. We congratulate the leadership for bringing in more partners that will help them in this next phase of growth,” said Mr Mahesh Yagnaraman, Country Director, India, Acumen Fund.
Haqdarshak is also working towards building solutions to accelerate the adoption of climate-friendly subsidies and programs implemented by the government. The company was recently awarded a design funding grant by Convergence, the global network for blended finance to test models to encourage the adoption of climate-friendly assets among farmers in rural India.
“We are thrilled to invest in Haqdarshak and support their efforts to digitize benefits and improve financial health in India,” said Ms Heather Matranga, Vice President, of Impact Investments at Village Capital. “We’ve been impressed with Haqdarshak since their participation in the VilCap CivicTech program in 2019. This next phase of their product will leverage established infrastructure and enable them to expand their services and impact, reaching more individuals and micro businesses.”
“The Innovating Justice Fund is thrilled to support Haqdarshak in their journey towards delivering people-centred justice at scale. We believe Haqdarshak’s unique approach is a shining example of how welfare schemes can be made accessible, affordable and easy to understand to those that did not have access before,” the Innovating Justice Fund said in a statement.
Haqdarshak had earlier raised an angel funding round as well as a pre-Series A round. In January 2023, the company made its debut on Shark Tank India.