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Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates.
Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates.

ACT Grants’ covid battle backed by Gates, Dell

ACT offers grants ranging from 1 lakh to 10 crore to initiatives that use technology to create large-scale impact in the detection, prevention and eradication of covid-19

ACT Grants, a not-for-profit grant created by venture capital firms and startup founders to fight covid-19, has got fresh funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates, Michael and Susan Dell, and Wadhwani foundations, a senior spokesperson of ACT said in an interview.

ACT offers grants ranging from 1 lakh to 10 crore to initiatives that use technology to create large-scale impact in the detection, prevention and eradication of covid-19.

“The total commitment from these three foundations is about 20% of the total corpus raised by ACT Grants," said Mohit Bhatnagar, the spokesperson for ACT Grants. He is also a managing director at Sequoia Capital India.

“The Gates and Dell foundations have been working for several years in India and have got deep connections with the state governments, especially in UP and Bihar. They are helping us increase the reach of our initiatives to the district and village levels," he said.

Till date, ACT Grants has raised about 103 crore from more than 50 venture capital firms, along with startup founders, non-profit organizations and industry veterans.

As of 1 April, 29 crore has been granted for 37 projects.

According to Geeta Goel, country director at Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, the partnership with ACT Grants will enable teams to address local solutions to minimise risks created by covid.

Added M. Hari Menon, director - India office at Gates Foundation, “We believe that a sustained and collaborative effort bringing together capital, innovation and technological solutions will be required to meet the covid challenge."

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