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Agri finance, logistics firm Origo raises first round of institutional funding
Photo Credit: Shah Junaid/VCCircle

Origo Commodities India Pvt. Ltd, a post-harvest supply-chain finance and logistics company, has raised Rs 80 crore ($11 million) from social-impact investors in the company's first round of institutional funding.

Cooperative Oikocredit, Caspian and Hivos-Triodos Fund participated in the fund-raising, said a joint statement.

The company, which was founded in 2010, will use the investment to strengthen its financing and logistics solutions, said co-founders Mayank Dhanuka and Sunoor Kaul.

Origo has a presence in 12 states in India and manages agriculture commodities worth around Rs 8,000 crore. Its subsidiary Origo Finance offers warehouse receipt finance, procurement finance, MSME (micro, small and medium enterprises) finance, and more. Origo Finance has about 18 branches in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra and Karnataka, with more than 3,500 clients that include over 1,400 farmers. 

Before founding Origo Commodities, Kaul was with Bank of America in New York and previously at General Electric Co. Dhanuka was an investment banker with firms including Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette, Credit Suisse and Lehman Brothers. Dhanuka also has experience in private equity and transaction structuring.

Anirudh Sarda, equity officer at Oikocredit, said, "With our investment, we aim to support Origo Commodities in creating a positive impact within this value chain...for serving farmers, traders and micro businesses in improving the lives of people on low incomes." 
Boutique investment bank Unitus Capital acted as the exclusive financial adviser on the transaction.

Investors

Oikocredit is a global cooperative and social-impact investor providing funding to the microfinance sector, fair-trade organisations, cooperatives as well as small and medium enterprises. Its India investments include Guwahati-based RGVN (North East) Microfinance Ltd and Thrissur, Kerala-based ESAF Microfinance and Investments Ltd.

Caspian, which has been investing in India since 2005, is currently raising money for its fourth fund. The social-impact investor focuses on financial inclusion, food and agriculture, affordable housing, healthcare and clean energy. Some of the major Caspian-backed companies include Chennai-based Equitas Holdings Ltd and Bengaluru-based Ujjivan Financial Services Ltd.

Hivos-Triodos Fund, founded in 1994, is a joint initiative of Triodos Bank and development aid organisation Hivos.
Netherlands-based Triodos Bank’s social-impact arm 
Triodos Investment Management is an investor in social-impact investment firm Aavishkaar-Intellecap Group. Last year, Triodos Investment Management provided Rs 44 crore ($6.9 million) in debt to AYE Finance Pvt. Ltd.

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