Indian agri-focused lender NAFA raises $50m through equity and ECB

Photo: Reuters

Agriculture-focused non-banking finance company (NBFC) Netafim Agricultural Financing Agency (NAFA) on Monday said it has raised $50 million through a mix of equity capital and external commercial borrowing from Israel based – Phoenix Group and Cogito Capital.

Funds raised will be utilized for business expansion, enhanced offerings, and to expand horizons in the agri-rural domain and to improve its margins as it intends to service the high-cost old debt and bring down the overall cost of funds, the company said in a statement.

Apart from Phoenix group and Cogito Capital, it recently raised $9.4 million of Tier I Capital from its parent, Netafim Singapore and offered exit to the initial equity partners Atmaram Properties & Granite Hill Fund as they had reached their investment horizon, it said.

According to Prabhat Chaturvedi, CEO, Netafim Agricultural Financing Agency Pvt. Ltd, there is a need for diversified credit schemes, along with adequate hand holding, to provide financial guidance to farmers on investing in agriculture and allied activities.

“Indian agriculture, in general, is characterized by low and uncertain returns as they are more prone to natural calamities and varied risks, resulting in constant demand for agri-financing support. The advent of intensive and climate-resilient agricultural technologies has further amplified the need for good financing schemes. Despite the presence of multiple financial mediums, there aren’t enough credit products catering to the niche demands of the farmers, leading to a huge credit gap,” he added.

The lender acquired NBFC license from RBI in 2013. NAFA has established its presence in eight states and disbursed total loans above 1000 crore to more than 10,000 customers.

The article was first published on livemint.com

 

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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.