International Finance Corporation (IFC) plans to invest in Quona Capital Management Ltd’s new venture capital fund that focuses on the financial services sector in emerging economies including India.
IFC proposes to contribute $12 million (Rs 83.6 crore) to the Accion Quona Inclusion Fund, the World Bank’s private-sector investment arm said in a statement. It did not disclose the total corpus of the fund.
Quona Capital was earlier called the Frontier Investment Group, which was part of Accion International. It is now a separate entity although Accion is an anchor investor in its fund.
The new fund will invest in underserved markets mainly in South and Southeast Asia, Latin America and Africa, the statement said. It will seek to invest in companies that provide electronic payment services, innovative credit or insurance, and financial advisory, it added.
In an interaction with VCCircle last year, Ganesh Rengaswamy, founding partner at Quona Capital, had said that India would continue to be one of the most important markets for the firm.
The Economic Times had reported last year that Quona Capital was looking to raise $150-200 million for the new fund.
In its previous outing, Quona Capital had raised $141 million. IFC was also an LP in the previous fund. Other LPs in that fund included AXA Impact Fund, Blue Haven Initiative, Calvert Equity Portfolio, Dalio Foundation, Heifer Foundation, IDP Foundation, JPMorgan Chase & Co, MasterCard, MetLife, PG Impact Investments and Prudential Financial Inc.
Quona Capital’s portfolio in India includes IndiaMart, CreditMantri, NeoGrowth and Fisdom.
Last month, the venture capital firm led a Series B investment in digital lending startup ZestMoney.
In March, it led an investment in SMEcorner, a microlending platform for small and medium businesses.
Quona Capital’s focus on financial services is in line with a VCCircle survey conducted earlier this year, where respondents counted the fintech segment among the most favoured sub-domains for investments.
IFC’s LP bets
The World Bank arm has an active LP portfolio in India where it backs private equity and VC funds focused on India. It also has an active direct private equity-style investment practice in India, and lends to companies as well.
IFC has previously invested as an LP in Indian VC funds such as Chiratae Ventures (formerly IDG Ventures India), Stellaris Venture Partners and pi Ventures.
In March, IFC proposed to come in as an LP in the debut venture capital fund of investment firm A91 Partners, floated last year by former Sequoia Capital executives VT Bharadwaj, Gautam Mago and Abhay Pandey.