Bengaluru-based microlender Janalakshmi Financial Services Pvt. Ltd, which had secured a licence for floating a small finance bank, has raised Rs 1,030 crore ($161 million) in a funding round led by existing investor TPG.
The fresh capital will help Janalakshmi to finally complete its transition into a small finance bank, and resume its growth story with a pan-India presence. The lender plans to open 300 store fronts by 2018.
According to Janalakshmi, while TPG invested a “significant” amount, other investors who participated in the round include Morgan Stanley Asia managed PE fund Treeline, QRG Enterprises Ltd and Vallabh Bhansali.
Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance Company Ltd and Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Company Ltd came on board as new investors.
In June, VCCircle had first reported that the company was raising a large round, wherein existing investors were expected to commit a major chunk.
In October 2000, Janalakshmi had disbursed its first loan and currently serves over five million families. The company offers micro loans to women, small and marginal farmers and the urban poor for home improvement and education, among other things.
The company, which is promoted by the Jana Foundation, an urban inclusion think tank based in Bengaluru, employs 16,000 people across its 462 branches in 259 cities. It is present in 17 states and two union territories.
While the micro lender would continue to focus on its core client base, it would like to position itself as a small finance bank and expand its reach among the unbanked segments, to offer an array of services, including savings accounts, cashless transactions and other innovative financial products.
“Janalakshmi has been championing financial inclusion and with this latest round of capital infusion, it strengthens our ability to continue our inclusion agenda,” said Janalakshmi Financial Services chairman Ramesh Ramanathan.
In 2015-16, it had disbursed loans worth Rs 11,516 crore, or three times the amount disbursed in 2014-15 and 27 times the figure of 2011-12. The company had a gross loan portfolio of Rs 10,988 crore in 2015-16, according to its annual report.
Janalakshmi is one of the 10 entities, which includes eight microlenders, to get a small finance bank licence from the Reserve Bank of India. While five microlenders – Ujjivan, Equitas, Utkarsh, ESAF and Suryoday – have already started operating as small finance banks, RGVN North East Microfinance and Disha Microfin are yet to do so.