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Soros, Omidyar, set up India venture

The philanthropic units of billionaire investor George Soros and Google have put $17 million into a venture with the Omidyar network to fund small and medium enterprises in India, they said in a statement.

The Soros Economic Development Fund, the Omidyar Network and said the venture would make investments of between $500,000 and $3.5 million in small and medium businesses in India that lacked access to formal funding options. “Long ignored by commercial capital markets, small and medium businesses are an attractive investment opportunity as well as an engine for economic growth,” Neal De Laurentis, vice president of Soros Economic Development Fund, was cited as saying. The company’s investment adviser will be located at the Indian School of Business in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad.

The Soros Economic Development Fund is a part of Soros’ charitable foundations, and the Omidyar Network is a philanthropic investment firm of the founders of eBay., the philanthropic arm of Google Inc, focuses on areas such as alternative energy and climate change. (Reuters)