Launch of Prosus SICA 2022

Prosus starts search for India’s most innovative assistive tech startups in 2022 with Social Impact Challenge for Accessibility (SICA)

Award-winning initiative showcased by Invest India at the 26th World Investment Conference in Geneva

Now in its third year, Prosus SICA identifies and awards the most promising startups working on assistive technology solutions

Geneva | New Delhi, September 14, 2022: This year’s search for India’s most promising assistive technology startups is underway with the launch of Prosus SICA 2022.

Initiated in 2020, by Prosus, in partnership with Startup India, Invest India, and Social Alpha, SICA invites Indian startups focused on advancing assistive technologies to compete for grants and access to a bespoke, global mentorship programme.

Now in its third year, SICA 2022 was launched today by Deepak Bagla, CEO of Invest India, at the 26th World Investment Conference (WIC) in Geneva. The WIC is a gathering of global investment promotion agencies to address pressing economic and social issues that impact investment flows and policy.

SICA was presented to WIC by Invest India, the Indian government’s investment promotion and facilitation agency, as an example of a social impact initiative that combines ideas, innovation and investment to develop a business case for an emerging sector in India, namely assistive technology. The initiative was showcased during the plenary session on Impact FDI and Sustainability: Enhancing the impact of FDI and linking projects with the SDGs.

So far, Prosus has committed INR 16,500,000 to the initiative and has supported 10 start-ups, all with access to their global mentorship programme, with six receiving direct grants. As in previous years, the top three startups to emerge from this year’s challenge will receive grants of INR 25 Lakh, 18 Lakh, and 12 Lakh respectively. The top five startups will also have access to a pool of mentors and financing opportunities through SICA partners including Invest India and Social Alpha, as well as the World Health Organization, which supports the programme with technical assistance. Eligible startups will have an opportunity to qualify for Social Alpha’s open innovation platform for assistive technologies, as well as their venture platform’s incubation resources and potential follow-on funding of up to INR 50 Lakh.

Sehraj Singh, Prosus’s Managing Director in India commented: “It is a matter of great pride for us to see SICA grow in less than three years from merely a vision, to a thriving assistive technology initiative. We are delighted that our partner Invest India is showcasing SICA to the world as an example of the social impact private investors and public bodies can generate when they collaborate effectively. We remain as excited today as when we launched SICA, about finding and fostering the most innovative assistive tech startups in India. Our experience in India has also encouraged us to assess the potential for SICA to become a longer-term initiative to support the development of the assistive technology sector in India and beyond.”

Deepak Bagla, MD & CEO, Invest India, said: “India is now the world’s third largest ecosystem and home to more than seventy five thousand startups. Over $131 bn was invested in Indian startups in the last 8 years. It is important to ensure that the benefits of India’s startup boom accrue to everyone. Prosus SICA is a case in point that if investing is aligned with sustainable development goals, meaningful positive social impact can be brought about at scale.”

Dr. Kshama KothariDirector - Health & Wellness, said Social Alpha is proud to host Prosus SICA and structure it to suitably support the entrepreneurs, who are tackling the societal challenges of barriers to inclusion and accessibility. Assistive tech solutions unlock value for persons with disabilities, as well as the elderly and some categories of medical care seekers - a growing market with an appetite for user appropriate high-quality solutions. Over the past 2 years, we have evaluated over 350 innovations and SICA has catalysed a market shaping momentum in India.”

With more than 27 million Indians estimated to live with some form of disability, the potential societal impact of improving lives and empowering people through assistive technology remains immense. In 2021, Prosus SICA was recognised as “CSR Initiative of the Year” by the AssisTech Foundation.

Interested startups can apply to participate in Prosus SICA by clicking here from September 14, 2022, onwards. The deadline for applications is Wednesday, 19 October 2022.


About Prosus:

Prosus is a global consumer internet group and one of the largest technology investors in the world. Operating and investing globally in markets with long-term growth potential, Prosus builds leading consumer internet companies that empower people and enrich communities.

The group is focused on building meaningful businesses in the online classifieds, food delivery, payments and fintech, and education technology sectors in markets including India and Brazil. Through its ventures team, Prosus invests in areas including health, logistics, blockchain, and social commerce. Prosus actively seeks new opportunities to partner with exceptional entrepreneurs who are using technology to improve people’s everyday lives.

Every day, billions of customers use the products and services of companies that Prosus has invested in, acquired or built, including 99minutos,  Airmeet, Aruna, AutoTrader, Autovit.ro, Azos, BandLab, Bibit, Bilt, Biome Makers, Borneo, Brainly, BUX, BYJU'S, Bykea, Captain Fresh, Codecademy, Collective Benefits, Creditas, DappRadar, DeHaat, Detect Technologies, dott, EduMe, ElasticRun, eMAG, Endowus, Eruditus, EVERY, Facily, Flink, Foodics, Good Glamm Group, GoodHabitz, GoStudent, Honor, iFood, Imovirtual, Klar, Kovi, LazyPay, letgo, Luno, Mensa Brands, Meesho, merXu, Movile, Oda, OLX, Otodom, OTOMOTO, PaySense, PayU, Pharmeasy, Platzi, Property24, Quick Ride, Red Dot Payment, Republic, Sharebite, Shipper, ShopUp, SoloLearn, Stack Overflow, Standvirtual, Superside, Swiggy, Thndr, Tonik, Ula, Urban Company, Vegrow, watchTowr, and Wayflyer.

Hundreds of millions of people have made the platforms of Prosus’s associates a part of their daily lives. For listed companies where we have an interest, please see: Tencent, Delivery Hero, Remitly, Trip.com, Udemy, Skillsoft, Sinch, and SimilarWeb.

Today, Prosus companies and associates help improve the lives of more than two billion people around the world.

Prosus has a primary listing on Euronext Amsterdam (AEX:PRX) and secondary listings on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (XJSE:PRX) and a2X Markets (PRX.AJ). Prosus is majority-owned by Naspers.

For more information, please visit www.prosus.com.

About Prosus

Prosus is a global consumer internet group and one of the largest technology investors in the world. Operating and investing globally in markets with long-term growth potential, Prosus builds leading consumer internet companies that empower people and enrich communities.

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