SIDBI’s new COVID-19 Startup Assistance Scheme

Prasad Bhalerao
2 min readApr 6, 2020

To help young and dynamic start-ups tide over unprecedented lockdown caused by COVID 19, SIDBI has announced COVID-19 Start-up Assistance Scheme (‘CSAS’). This scheme is aimed to provide assistance to innovative start-ups that have demonstrated ability to adapt to economic impact from Covid-19 and ensured its employees’ safety and financial stability.

Under this scheme, eligible start-ups can get a loan of up to Rs. 200 Mn. @ 12% interest repayable within 36 months.

This all sounds great until you review the eligibility criteria. There are 9 conditions defined. In my humble opinion, its very difficult for some start-up to check all 9 boxes. A few of our clients could fulfil 3–4 of the conditions, but not all.

I am afraid, this scheme’s budget may also be unutilised like a lot of others.

Read the full conditions here:

  1. Government defined startups which have received funding through Alternate Investment Fund registered with SEBI or by any VC/PE/Angel Fund investing in startups in India
  2. Startups with a minimum employee base of 50 employees. This may also include their foot soldiers
  3. Startups having FY 2019 and FY 2020 minimum turnover between INR 20 crore to INR 60 crore
  4. Startups should be EBITDA positive in December 2019. If not, they should be in a position to project positive EBITDA for the quarter ending June 2020.
  5. Startups should have been incorporated for less than 10 years
  6. Startups should have a positive net worth
  7. Startups should have demonstrated innovative measures for ensuring business continuity during the COVID-19 period
  8. Startups should have taken adequate measures and ensured employee safety and financial stability
  9. Promoter/founder of startup should have invested his own capital in the business

Startups under the below category are not eligible:

  1. Startups written off by AIFs
  2. Startups that are in stress other than the present Covid-19 (as recommended by their Fund Manager)
  3. Startups that do not have strong Intellectual Property or innovation
  4. Startups having working capital facilities with any bank

With such criteria, i doubt if the scheme will reach the real needy start-ups.

Feel free to counter or contribute.



Prasad Bhalerao

On a mission to help businesses thrive with sound financial decisions.