Belgium-based Incofin Investment Management has made its first investment from its India Progress Fund by betting on Jaipur-based Namdev Finvest Pvt Ltd.
Aditya Bhandari, co-head of Incofin Asia, told VCCircle that the fund has invested Rs 35 crore ($4.7 million) as part of Series A funding round.
Namdev, which was founded by first-generation entrepreneur Jitender Tanwar in 2013, focuses on impact lending to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). The company has presence in rural and semi-urban areas in the north-western region of the country.
The fresh capital will be used to penetrate deeper in the states of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, said Tanwar
"We would leverage Incofin’s strategic and deep impact support in our mission to provide affordable and qualitative financial services to our clients,” he added.
Bhandari explained that the first investment from the fund was driven by India's growth story which largely depends on tech-enabled solutions offered to MSMEs.
“Namdev provides a rare combination of deep social impact, solid management team and a strong balance sheet," he added.
As of March 31, 2021, Namdev had assets under management (AUM) of Rs 242 crore, a 44% rise from the previous year. The company claims it has more than 13,000 borrowers and aims to have 100,000 borrowers in the next five to seven years.
Incofin’s India Progress Fund had hit the first close at Rs 450 crore earlier in July. The fund seeks to invest in the agri food value chain and financial services in rural India.
Korys, a key investor in India Progress Fund, is a food retailer in Europe and an expert in the operational food value chain with over 50 years of retail industry experience. Korys has significant downstream experience in the agri-food sector and will provide additional support for networking with European retailers and consumer markets.
Incofin’s Indian footprint spans a decade with growth capital investments through local teams in Chennai and New Delhi. Some prior equity investments of Incofin in India are in Fusion Microfinance, SAVE Solutions, Sohan Lal Commodity Management, Annapurna Finance, and Light Microfinance.