South Asia Education

iMerit was founded in 2012 with the vision of bringing a diverse talent pool from underserved backgrounds into the digital workforce. The company employs 3,000 workers, over half of whom are women, across India, Bhutan and the USA.

Our investment

CDC's investment in iMerit underlines our commitment to back companies that are creating skilled jobs, particularly for women, in regions where they are most needed. Advances in AI technology are normally seen as a threat to jobs, but iMerit has demonstrated that the opposite is true.


Promote economic opportunities by creating jobs (SDG targets 10.1, 10.2, 8.2, 8.5).


CDC's investment will support the expansion of iMerit's business creating jobs and supporting consistent wage increases for workers including the acceleration of workers into leadership positions. The wages paid to employees create evidenced positive effects for workers' families and communities.

Stakeholder Geography Characteristics

India and Bhutan

  • Poor (80 per cent of employees are from the bottom 40 per cent of the Indian population).
  • Women 2X eligible (52 per cent of employees are women & female founder).
Scale Depth/Duration

Supporting the creation of 9,000 new jobs over the lifetime of our investment.

Entry level wages are twice the level of workers average household income on entry, and wage increases of 10 per cent year-on-year are expected. We expect over 900 internal promotions into leadership positions during the lifetime of our investment and iMerit meets international standards on job quality and has progressive employment policies.

Grid Score Contribution


To help us direct our investments, we use a tool called the Development Impact Grid. The Grid scores every investment we plan out of a score of four, based on two factors: the difficulty of investing in the country and whether investment in that sector will lead to jobs.

  • Capital not offered on the same terms.
  • Capital will support and safeguard iMerit's developmental strategy including the pursuit of building an inclusive workforce and focus on disadvantaged regions.
  • CDC will support iMerit's objectives: to be recognised as an industry leader in understanding and improving the lives of an inclusive workforce, for example through projects to enhance workforce management and skills development.

Execution: the impact case relies on the business' ability to scale up in what remains a challenging and early stage market.

Key facts


Since 2012, we’ve only invested in Africa and South Asia. Investments outside these regions are from our pre-2012 portfolio.

South Asia
Bhutan, India

We have seven priority sectors. However, we continue to invest outside these sectors, largely in the most challenging regions, as new investment supporting any sector helps to underpin the private sector, and create jobs and livelihoods for people.

Investment type

We provide capital in three broad ways: direct equity, debt, and intermediated equity (principally through investment funds).

Direct Equity
Start date

For direct investments, this is the date CDC committed capital to the business or project.

For funds, this is the date that CDC committed capital to the fund.

For underlying fund investments, this is the date that the fund invested capital into the business.e

December 2019

For direct investments, this is the total amount that CDC has committed to the business or project (it may be a combination of equity and debt).

For funds, this is the total amount that CDC has committed to the fund.


This is the investee company’s place of incorporation; or a fund’s jurisdiction.


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