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US pension fund TIAA leads Series D investment in Samunnati Financial
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Non-banking financial company Samunnati Financial Intermediation & Services Pvt. Ltd on Tuesday said it has raised Rs 387 crore (around $56 million at the current exchange rate) in its Series D round of funding.

Chennai-headquartered Sammunati said in a statement that the round was led by Nuveen, the investment management arm of Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America (TIAA).

VCCircle was the first to report about the transaction on 10 May.

Existing investors Elevar Equity, responsAbility and Accel also participated in this funding round. The company has raised a total of Rs 587 crore after taking into account the latest infusion.

Samunnati said that it will use the fresh capital to boost its book size and to expand to newer geographies.

Incorporated in 2014, Samunnati provides loans to farmers, farmer producer organisations, community-based organisations and agricultural enterprises. The company began operations as an NBFC in 2016. It also offers non-financial services such as market linkage, advisory and trade services through wholly-owned subsidiary Samunnati Agro Solutions.

"Access to financing for agricultural value chains fits with our impact investment thesis of inclusive growth," said Rekha Unnithan, chartered financial analyst (CFA), impact investing portfolio manager at Nuveen. “This investment aligns with Nuveen’s impact investment objective to grow purpose-driven financial services institutions that leverage innovative and scalable solutions.”

Nuveen, which was acquired by TIAA in 2014, has more than $900 million in assets under management. In December last year, the fund invested around Rs 230 crore for a 20% stake in social impact investor Aavishkaar-Intellecap Group.

TIAA provides financial services in the academic, research, medical, cultural and government fields. As on 30 September, it had $1 trillion in assets under management.

Kotak Investment Banking served as the exclusive financial advisor to Samunnati for this transaction.

Deals in the segment

Several NBFCs have raised significant sums of capital in the recent past.

Earlier this month, Kinara Capital raised Rs 100 crore in funding from a clutch of private equity and impact investors.

Last month, InCred Financial Services Ltd raised Rs 600 crore in a Series A round led by FMO.

Also last month, responsAbility Investments invested $10 million (Rs 69.5 crore) via its climate fund in green masala bonds issued by Pune-based non-banking finance company Electronica Finance Ltd.

In March, NBFC Northern Arc Capital Ltd secured a fresh investment of Rs 910 crore ($130 million) from a clutch of institutional investors.

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