Delhi-based Aviom India Housing Finance Pvt. Ltd has raised Rs 60 crore ($8.4 million) from Japan's Gojo & Company and Dutch investor Capital 4 Development (C4D) Asia Fund in a Series B funding round.
The company will use the funds for expansion in tier 2 and tier 3 cities in states such as Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Uttarakhand, and Delhi NCR, Aviom said in a statement.
The new round takes the equity funding the company, which provides housing loans to low-income individuals and families, has raised so far to about Rs 86 crore.
In February last year, the housing finance company had raised Rs 15 crore in its Series A round of funding from Singapore-based impact-focused venture capital firm Insitor Management.
In addition, Aviom has borrowed Rs 150 crore. The company intends to raise another Rs 500 crore in debt in the coming year.
“Aviom follows a strong in-house credit assessment model, which serves a dual purpose of empowering women in rural India by creating jobs for them and allowing them to work flexible hours to contribute to the overall economic development,” said Kajal Ilmi, founder and managing director, Aviom.
“The company has training centres in every branch for women train-and-hire module. Its unique programme with 8,000 women agents onboard working as associates is actively leading to better access and increasing financial literacy across India. We are now aiming to have 50,000 such women agents to join us in a year’s time,” she added.
The company intends to provide financing to low-income people in the informal urban sector who often face loan rejections mainly due to undocumented incomes.
Gojo founder Taejun Shin said Aviom is addressing a “pressing issue” for many Indian households who need affordable housing loans. “This marks our foray into the housing finance space.”
Gojo is a holding company of microfinance institutions. It has subsidiary microfinance institutions in various countries such as Cambodia, Sri Lanka and Myanmar. In India, Gojo had invested in Ahmedabad-based Ananya Finance for Inclusive Growth Pvt. Ltd.
Last year, it invested in women-focused Satya MicroCapital Ltd.
Arvind Agarwal, managing partner at C4D Partners, said Aviom's model of primarily lending to women homeowners is solving many problems at the grass-root level.
Unitus Capital was the exclusive financial adviser to Aviom on the transaction.
Affordable housing finance
The affordable housing segment has been a major focus area for the government. In the recent budget, the government announced tax breaks for affordable housing.
Among the recent deals in the mortgage lending segment, PNB Housing Finance Ltd last month raised $100 million (Rs 690 crore) from International Finance Corporation for lending to buyers in affordable housing projects.
In June, Sundaram Finance Ltd agreed to acquire BNP Paribas Personal Finance’s entire 49.9% stake in their housing finance joint venture.