Housing micro-finance institution Swarna Pragati Housing Microfinance Pvt Ltd has raised an undisclosed amount in a Series B round of funding from Bangalore- based private equity firm Zephyr Peacock and eBay founder Pierre Omidyar’s Omidyar Network.
The transaction also involved a follow-on investment by existing investors Aavishkaar Goodwell II, with participation from I3N (Intellecap Impact Investment Network) and HNIs.
The Chennai-based company will be using the funds to strengthen its position in existing geographies as well as to expand to Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Gujarat.
Set up by a team of senior bankers led by A Ramesh Kumar, former CGM, State Bank of India and chairman of NABARD’s National Committee on Rural Habitat, the company provides housing finance to rural households.
It had raised an undisclosed amount from Aavishkaar Goodwell in October 2013. The round also saw participation from existing investor NBFC Asia Pragati, owned by Pacific Alliance Group.
As of November 30, 2015, the company has a portfolio of over Rs 85 crore and a customer base of nearly 8,700 borrowers. By the end of 2020-21, it is targeting a portfolio of about Rs 2,400 crore and a customer base of 160,000.
Omidyar invests in for-profit ventures and offers grants to non-profit organisations. It invests in areas such as consumer internet and mobile, entrepreneurship, financial inclusion, governance and citizen engagement, and property rights.
The firm has invested around $160 million so far in Indian companies such as Quikr, DailyHunt, Vistaar, NowFloats, Scroll.in and NeoGrowth as well as non-profit organisations such as Teach For India, Foundation for Ecological Security and Janaagraha. It plans to invest $350-400 million by 2020.
Intellecap acted as advisor to Swarna Pragati Housing Finance for the transaction.