Agri-logistics service provider Sohan Lal Commodity Management Pvt Ltd (SLCM) said on Monday it has raised Rs 100 crore ($15 million) in a fresh funding round led by impact investor Creation Investments Capital Management and existing private equity investor Everstone Capital.
This is the fourth round of funding for the company, which also counts Mayfield, Nexus Venture Partners and Emerging India Fund of ICICI Bank as investors. The Emerging India Fund operates separately from ICICI Venture.
SLCM plans to use the funds for its agri-focused non-banking finance company, Kissandhan, and is aiming at a three-fold growth in loans disbursement by the end of this fiscal year. SLCM, which entered the agri-financing domain in early 2014, said it has disbursed about Rs 250 crore so far.
The firm said it also plans to expand the network of warehouses it manages to 1,500 from 760 across India. Last year, SLCM started providing warehousing services in Myanmar as well.
“Our asset-light business model is our key differentiator that defines us as the thought leader in the domain,” said Sandeep Sabharwal, promoter and group CEO at SLCM.
Everstone Capital had first invested in SLCM in 2012 along with the ICICI fund. The firm had previously raised funding from Mayfield and Nexus Venture Partners in March 2011.
Ken Vander Weele, co-founder and partner at Creation Investments, said that SLCM was the first company in the agri-logistics sector to provide financing for its customers via its NBFC and that this fitted perfectly with Creation's mandate to invest in innovative financial solutions.
US-based Creation Investments focuses on companies in microfinance, SME lending and emerging markets banking sectors. Some of its key investments in India include MFIs such as Equitas Holdings and Grameen Financial Services Pvt Ltd Positron Consulting Services acted as an advisor to Creation Investments for this transaction.