Drishtee

Providing last-mile distribution and internet services in rural India.

Investment Snapshot

500k

Lives
Impacted

$3.4M

Total
Invested

2006

First Year
of Investment

THE CHALLENGE

India’s 638,000 villages are home to more than 775 million people. Nearly half of this population survives on less than $1 a day. Surveys have found that the average villager earns $90 a year and spends 80 percent of that income on subsistence items like healthcare, housing and food.

THE INNOVATION

Drishtee builds service kiosks to provide villages with access to Internet connections, consumer products and critical community services. Offerings include computer education, English education, e-governance, health check-ups, and a wide range of consumer goods such as groceries, cosmetics, mobile phone recharge coupons, and rechargeable torches and batteries. Local entrepreneurs run the Drishtee kiosks.

With Acumen Fund’s investment, Drishtee is increasing the number and reach of the entrepreneurs and expanding its health-related services. Structured loans made to Drishtee Foundation, a non-profit trust, are also helping Drishtee to provide rural entrepreneurs – particularly women – with micro credit.

THE IMPACT

Through its low-cost, direct delivery rural supply chain network, Drishtee has created significant cost and time savings for villagers and an effective channel for enterprises to sell products and services. Drishtee has a strong presence in three states – Assam, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh – and more than 14,000 entrepreneurs currently registered in the network.