India: MFI Arohan raises $24m from Maj Invest, existing backers

Visual from the company website

Microfinance company Arohan Financial Services Pvt Ltd, a part of Aavishkaar-Intellecap Group, has raised a total of Rs 155.5 crores ($24 million) to fund its expansion plans.

Danish asset management firm Maj Invest invested Rs 97 crores ($15 million) while existing investors, Tano Capital, Swaminathan Anklesaria Aiyar and other individuals, and promoter group, Aavishkaar Venture Management Services, have contributed a total of Rs 58.5 crores ($9 million) of the total capital raised, the company said in a statement.

The Kolkata-based financial services firm plans to use the funds to expand its operations to Uttar Pradesh and Tripura and also strengthen its presence in its current states of operation.

Focussed on the Eastern, North Eastern and Central parts of India, Arohan has a loan portfolio of over Rs 1,031 crore as on April 30, 2017 through its network of 271 branches operating in 93 districts in seven low income states of India namely Assam, Bihar, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Meghalaya, Odisha and West Bengal.

“With the rights issue in January 2017 and now this infusion, Arohan is one of the best capitalised NBFC MFIs in our peer group at the moment. By crossing Rs 1000 crore portfolio as of end March 2017, we are today in the top 10 NBFC MFIs in the country,” said Manoj Kumar Nambiar, Managing Director, Arohan.

“We are now focused on growing our business in the central, eastern and north east parts of the country,” he added.

Financial services especially microfinance companies have become increasingly attractive to the investors that are trying to tap into the tremendous potential in the smaller and under-served parts of the country.

Last month another MFI Spandana Sphoorty Financial Ltd raised $270 million through a mix of equity and debt funding. PE firm Kedaara Capital led consortium including Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan has invested over $100 million for a stake while $170 million is raised from IndusInd Bank, Yes Bank and ICICI Bank in the form of debt.

In January this year, Muthoot Microfinance raised $20 million from US-based private equity firm Creation Investments Llc in lieu of 11 per cent stake.

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