Lok Capital, which focuses on investments in the bottom-of-pyramid (BOP) customer segment, has invested another $3 million in rural business process outsourcing (BPO) firm RuralShores. The Bangalore-based company, which first raised money from Lok in February last year, also counts India’s largest mortgage lender HDFC as a strategic investor.

This series B funding of $3 million is also the largest investment till date in the Indian rural BPO space and Lok Capital’s Partner Ganesh Rengaswamy will now join the board of RuralShores. Another investment in this space includes Aavishkaar Micro Capital Venture Fund backing B2R Technologies.

RuralShores will use the new round of funding to strengthen its senior management team, ensure business development, develop robust systems and technology, and scale operations, according to a company statement. The company has 10 rural BPO centres across seven states, with more than 1,000 rural youngsters on its roll.

“The validation of RuralShores’ business model, its proven track record and leadership position in the category with big ticket clientele are some of the key factors which have driven this round of funding. We believe this model can be emulated across India and can make a dramatic difference to the fortunes of rural India and the rural youth, by providing employment opportunities and powering our rural economies,” said Rengaswamy.

“Since our inception, we have been financially successful with a large client base and also moved closer to our goal of empowering the rural youth by bringing jobs to them, rather than encouraging them to migrate to cities in search of jobs that will suit their qualifications and aspirations,” said Murali Vullaganti, CEO of RuralShores.

Lok Capital, which manages two funds with a corpus of over $85 million, has invested in companies like Ujjivan, BASIX, Janalakshmi and Ashirwad.

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