India: NBFC Kinara raises $15m round led by Gaja Capital

Visage Holdings and Finance, which owns and operates non-banking finance company Kinara Capital, has raised Rs 96 crore ($15 million) in a funding round led by private equity firm Gaja Capital.

According to a report in The Economic Times, the round also saw participation from Spanish impact investment firm Gawa Capital, and Kinara’s existing backers, Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, besides Unitus Impact Fund.

The latest round of funding provides an exit to existing investor Shriram City Union Finance. Under the terms of the deal, Bengaluru-based Kinara will receive about Rs 70 crore as primary equity funding, while the remaining amount will go to Shriram City Union Finance, for its two-year-old investment, the news report said.

“We plan on using the proceeds primarily towards not only expanding our footprints, but also going deeper in our existing geographies,” Hardika Shah, founder and CEO of Kinara Capital told the news paper. At present, the NBFC operates across Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Telangana.

The transaction is also the fourth investment by Gaja Capital from its latest $240 million fund Gaja-III. It had previously invested in frozen bakery and confectionery producer and supplier Bakers Circle, and in sports and fitness education venture SportzVillage.

Last year, Gaja Capital had done a similar transaction in the financial inclusion space, when it invested Rs 30 crore in small finance bank Suryoday Small Finance Bank.

Over the last few months, many NBFCs, especially in South India,  have raised funds from PE investors to expand their footprint. For example, Chennai-based NBFC Five Star Business Finance had raised $50 million from Norwest Venture Partners and Sequoia Capital, and existing investors Matrix Partners and Morgan Stanley Private Equity Asia.

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