The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), a development finance institution of the US government, is backing two Indian companies under its new Scaling Enterprise, a $100 million loan guarantee facility.
The loan facility is launched in partnership with Ford Foundation and Citi to provide early-stage financing in local currency to companies that expand access to products and services for low-income communities in emerging markets.
OPIC said in a statement that it has made its first two transactions under Scaling Enterprise. The partners will invest $5 million in Mumbai-based horticulture farm and exporting firm INI Farms to help farmers in India for access to export markets and increase incomes by 20%.
It would also invest another $5 million in d.light, a San Francisco-based solar lighting and power products maker with operations in India, to expand access to off-grid solar energy in Kenya.
OPIC is also among a bunch of development finance institutions that have emerged as a significant source of fundraising for private equity and venture firms investing in India.
The development finance institution's primary mandate is to help American businesses expand in emerging markets. One way OPIC fulfils this mandate is by backing funds that invest in Asian and African companies.