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District Announces Innovation Finance Program Investment in Rasa Indian Grill

Wednesday, October 19, 2016
City matching $100,000 with private investors to support Rasa Indian Grill, a new District-based fast casual Indian food concept

Octobter 19, 2016 - The District of Columbia Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking announced a $100,000 investment in the new fast casual Indian food business Rasa Indian Grill through its Innovation Finance Fund, an alternative to commercial financing where the District co-invests with private capital sources.

“DISB continues to bring together government and private sector capital to give both start-up businesses and growing businesses a fair shot at financing,” said Commissioner Stephen C. Taylor. “We want to support businesses like Rasa Indian Grill who have chosen the District for their innovative business idea.”

Rasa Indian Grill is an Indian fast casual restaurant concept created by business partners Rahul Vinod and Sahil Rahman with the mission of making Indian cuisine and culture accessible to all. Guests will enjoy fresh, healthy and affordable Indian inspired food in a build-your-own format. Rasa will open its first store next summer at 1277 First St. SE in Navy Yard.

“It is often tough for young entrepreneurs to find investment partners who truly understand their vision and values,” said Vinod. “After growing up in the DMV, the District Government’s support through the Innovation Finance Program is allowing us to pursue a dream and bring high quality food to the city we love. We could not be more excited to launch Rasa Indian Grill in Washington, D.C.”

The District’s Innovation Finance Fund matched the $100,000 investment made by a private investor in Rasa Indian Grill. The Innovation Finance Program is part of the District of Columbia Business Capital Programs (DC BizCAP) funded by the federal State Small Business Credit Initiative. Under DC BizCAP, the District uses federal funds to facilitate investments and private lending to local small businesses.

In addition to Rasa Indian Grill, the Innovation Finance Fund matched a $50,000 investment in Good Food Markets, a neighborhood grocery store in Ward 5 in Feb. 2015, and $485,000 in the social payment technology company GoodWorld in August. Further, DC BizCAP has provided $7 million in collateral support to leverage $17 million in loans made by local financial institutions to District small businesses. 

To view more information about these programs, visit DISB’s website at this link. More information on Rasa Indian Grill can be found at http://www.rasagrill.com/.