Gojo & Company, Inc., a Japan-based firm that holds stakes in microlenders, has made a $3.7 million (Rs 26 crore) investment in its portfolio firm Aviom India Housing Finance Pvt. Ltd.
The transaction marks Gojo's third investment in the country post the COVID-19 lockdown.
Last month, Gojo invested in Satya MicroCapital, another portfolio company with a rural focus.
Gojo also invested $1.55 million in Ahmedabad-based firm Ananya Finance for Inclusive Growth Pvt. Ltd, which is a wholesale lender to small and mid-sized microfinance institutions in India apart from lending to agri-companies and impact enterprises, according to an April 2020 disclosure on its website.
The capital infusion is part of Gojo's efforts to give its partner companies enough liquidity to battle through the current period of global crisis.
Gojo has invested over $15 million in its partners in the last quarter, added the disclosure.
As part of the current round in Aviom, Singapore-based impact-focused venture capital firm Insitor Impact Asia Fund, who backed Aviom in its Series A round of funding as the sole institutional investor, exited their stake.
Unitus Capital acted as the exclusive advisor to Aviom and Insitor on this transaction.
In February 2018, Insitor invested about Rs 15 crore ($2.3 million then) in Aviom, which provides affordable housing loans to low-income individuals and families.
New Delhi-based Aviom, founded in 2016, is a woman-owned, innovative affordable housing finance provider. It offers solutions to the under-served and under-banked informal income segments in semi-urban markets. The company provides loans for home purchase and construction, home extension and improvement and loan against property.
Kajal Ilmi, MD and founder at Aviom, said the firm has had a great partner in Insitor in its early days, who believed in the vision of impact-focused financial services and empowering rural women.
“Our vision is to empower these women with limited literacy levels and ensure their inclusion to the main workforce and give them a status in the society,” Ilmi said.
The company intends to use the funds to set-up additional branches and expand its loan portfolio.
“We are excited to double down on our investment in Aviom and look forward to the journey ahead,” Taejun Shin, founder at Gojo, said.
Aviom currently has 12 branches in Rajasthan, 7 branches in Madhya Pradesh and 6 branches in Haryana. It has a special focus on women, with whom, in addition to finance, they also work to provide employment opportunities in a flexible work structure.
Separately, Micaela Ratini, partner and CEO at Insitor, said the firm believes that Aviom has found a great partner in Gojo who can continue to support them through their vision to uplift rural households and rural women.
“We are really happy to have brought Insitor into Aviom and having facilitated an exit for them in the very next round. Gojo has been great through the process having stuck to the agreed terms even in the times of a pandemic,” Richa Natarajan, director at Unitus Capital, added.