Industree Crafts Pvt Ltd, a Bangalore-based home furnishing company, has raised $1 million (Rs 4.5 crore) from US-based Grassroots Business Fund for an undisclosed stake, according to a media report. The company has issued convertible debentures to the investor.
Industree Crafts designs, crafts and markets furniture and various other accessories like cushions, lamps, floors, blinds, storage spaces, planters and bags.
Established in 2008, Grassroots Business Fund from Washington, D.C. is a non-profit venture capital firm which provides equity, quasi-equity and debt capital to companies operating in Asia, Africa and Latin American countries. The firm invests in technology, agriculture, clean energy and consumer durable sectors while its funding typically ranges between $0.25 million and $1 million in equity and $0.04 million and $0.15 million in debt in its portfolio companies.
GBF’s current portfolio includes companies hailing from agribusiness, IT, energy and finance space. The fund aims to serve hard-to-reach, low-income and underprivileged population across Africa, Asia and Latin America – people who lack access to existing economic opportunities and who are not reached by other development models.
The home furnishing space in India is yet to witness big-scale PE investments. It is, however, picking up slowly and in 2010, Reliance Capital Ltd acquired 5.97 per cent stake in Mumbai-based Nilkamal Ltd for $5.97 million. The firm acquired 0.89 million shares at a price of approximately 312.1 per share on a preferential basis. Nilkamal Ltd manufactures and markets plastic moulded furniture and material handling products, primarily in India.
In another significant deal, Times Private Treaties, private equity arm of Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd, invested $0.65 million in Ahmedabad-based Timbor Home Ltd. The firm is a manufacturer and retailer of solid wood furniture, modular kitchens and doors.