Dutch impact investor FMO commits $104m to Asian businesses in April

Photo: Colin Watts / Unsplash

Dutch impact investor FMO said it committed a total of $104 million in April to businesses that operate in Asia’s developing economies as part of efforts to ensure business continuity in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The commitment to businesses in India, Cambodia, and Sri Lanka was part of the $293 million that the impact investor allocated to companies globally in April to help entrepreneurs withstand the effects of the pandemic.

“It is precisely during these times of crisis that it is important to continue investing in developing economies that are expected to be hit hard by the pandemic,” the firm said.

In April, FMO provided a $15-million facility to LendingKart Finance, a non-banking financial institution that serves about 90,000 clients in 29 states across India. The funds will help LendingKart Finance, an existing FMO client, provide on-lending to MSMEs, especially those that are run by women entrepreneurs.

About $25 million in debt financing was also provided to Northern Arc Capital, a digital debt platform in India that supports low-income households and small businesses.

It also provided a $40 million loan to its long-term client Nations Trust Bank, one of the most digitally agile banks in Sri Lanka that supports smaller business clients. The bank, which is the largest in Sri Lanka, serves over 600,000 customers and employs more than 3,000 people.

Also in Sri Lanka, FMO provided a $15 million loan facility to LB Finance, a deposit-taking, non-banking financial institution. The firm provides purchase, finance lease, and vehicle loan facilities in the country, supporting 600,000 micro- and SME clients.

In Cambodia, FMO provided $4 million financing in Maxima Microfinance, a microfinance institution that serves low-income households and SMEs across eight provinces in the country. Maxima has over 6,800 active borrowers, almost all of which are women and 80% in rural areas.

‘Our support will help further their long-term growth in their micro-loan portfolio, reducing inequalities and promoting gender equality,” FMO said.

In the private equity space, the Dutch impact investor committed $5 million in total to two Indian firms – payment processor Innovate and agritech company Waycool, the monthly transaction report showed.

Based in The Netherlands, FMO is a growth-stage investor in private sector firms in developing countries, focusing on sustainable economic and social development.

Founded in 1970, FMO has a committed portfolio of over $12 billion spanning over 80 countries. Its average ticket size for investment is €15 million and it invests across equity and debt.

Despite the pandemic, the firm said it continues to invest in ambitious projects and entrepreneurs.

“While local governments are working hard to minimise the impact on their people and economies, we are needed now more than ever. Hence, we continue to empower entrepreneurs in developing economies to build a better world and boost resilience to withstand the pandemic,” FMO said.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.