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Delhi-based housing financier Sitara pockets $20 mn

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Affordable housing lender Sitara, on Wednesday said it has secured $20 million (around Rs 156 crore) in a mix of primary and secondary investment led by Europe-based NMI and WWB Asset Management.  

The round also saw participation from existing investors including HDFC Holdings, Oikocredit and Omidyar Network Fund.  

Founded in 2015, the Delhi-based housing finance company plans to deploy the fresh proceeds to grow the loan book and expand its operations into newer pockets. 

“With the fundraise, we propose to help around 7,000 families additionally in the current financial year by disbursing around $63 million and consequently achieve a book size of $97 million. Our operating model emphasizes assisting customers to formalize their collateral,” said Shruti Gonsalves, managing director and chief executive officer at SEWA Grih Rin Ltd.

The housing lender – offering micro credit to low-income female borrowers for housing purposes - claims to have attracted $34 million in capital since its inception. Till last month, the company had a loan book of $46 million and a customer base of around 15,000 borrowers.

NMI, founded in 2008, invests and supports institutions providing financial inclusion to poor people across Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. Its investors include the Norwegian and Danish governmental funds for developing countries (Norfund and IFU) and private financial institutions and family offices from Norway and Denmark. It currently has 18 direct investments, of which nine are in India. 

“We value the track record of Sitara in providing financial services to underserved individuals and the empowerment potential of its offering, especially for women. Sitara’s team is united under a shared vision to ensure superior customer delivery,” said Rajat Arora, principal investment officer and head of Asia at WWB Asset Management.  

Housing finance startups have been attracting investors’ attention for quite some time.   

In January, mortgage lender Shubham Housing Development Finance Company raised $112 million in a round led by British International Investment, LeapFrog Investments and Asian Development Bank and existing investor Premji Invest. 

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