International Finance Corporation, the private investment arm of the World Bank, is planning to invest $15 million in Lok II, a $80-million venture capital fund launched for investing primarily in the microfinance space in India, VCCircle has learnt. 

This follows Lok’s earlier fund, Lok Capital Llc, a $22-million fund investing in the same space. Lok II will be sponsored by Lok Foundation, a New York-based not-for-profit corporation, and will be based in Mauritius. 

The IFC investment will be in the form of equity comprising 20% of the total fund size.

Lok II plans to invest primarily in microfinance sector in India and is targeting around 10-12 equity or quasi-equity or equity-linked investments in microfinance institutions and companies. In India, the fund is advised by New Delhi-based firm Lok Advisory Services Pvt Ltd. 

Lok Capital Llc, the previous fund, has recently invested in RuralShore Business Services Pvt Ltd, a Bangalore-based company. Its other investments include Chennai-based MFI Asirvad Microfinance Pvt Ltd, Spandana Sphoorty Financial Ltd, Basix and Ujjivan. 

IFC, on the other hand, has also been investing actively in India. Some of its recent investments in India include New Delhi-based Applied Solar Technologies India Pvt Ltd (AST), and Patna-based Husk Power Systems. IFC is also investing $25 million in CLSA's Clean Resources Asia Growth Fund.

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