Dutch development bank FMO has made an investment of about $10 million in NeoGrowth Credit Pvt. Ltd, an early-stage fintech lender catering to small businesses in India, according to a press statement.
Separately, the bank has committed a capital investment of about $6 million (EUR 5 million) in Samunnati Financial Intermediation and Services Pvt. Ltd, a non-banking financial company (NBFC) specialising in loans to farmers and entities engaged in agriculture.
NeoGrowth will use the funding from FMO to on-lend to micro, small and medium-sized retail merchants, the disclosure said.
Established in 2013, NeoGrowth assesses creditworthiness based on the cash-flows through the POS terminals of merchants and loan collection happens electronically on a daily basis, addressing seasonality in the business of merchants. The company claims that it has disbursed over $650 million in loans so far.
NeoGrowth had raised about $47 million in a funding round led by UK-based equity investor LeapFrog Investments in January 2018. The round had also seen participation of existing investors Aspada Investment Company and Quona Capital.
Meanwhile, Samunnati will use the loan to provide solutions to all players across the entire value chain through financial intermediation, market linkages and advisory services.
Unlike traditional lenders, who tend to focus on crop loans or agricultural input loans, Samunnati focuses on the needs of small farmers and designs appropriate financial products that are not collateralized.
The company had last raised $55 million in a Series D round led by Nuveen, the investment management arm of Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America (TIAA) in May 2019. Other investors in Samunnati include existing investors Elevar Equity, responsAbility, and Accel Partners.
FMO has also injected $5 million in Samunnati in January 2019 by subscribing to the company’s non-convertible debentures (NCDs).
The Netherlands-based development, a growth stage investor in private sector firms in developing countries, focuses on sustainable economic and social development. Founded in 1970, FMO has a committed portfolio of EUR 10.4 billion spanning over 80 countries. Its average ticket size for investment is €15 million and it invests across equity and debt.
FMO’s others India investments include MSME lender Vistaar Finance, WayCool Foods, renewable energy producer Avaada, payments solution provider Innoviti, impact investor Aavishkaar Group, and social impact firm Dharma Life.