Venture debt finance firm IntelleGrow raises $5M led by Omidyar Network

Venture debt lender IntelleGrow Finance Pvt Ltd (IGF) has raised Rs 28 crore ($4.5 million) from Omidyar Network with participation of existing investor Michael & Susan Dell Foundation (MSDF).

In this round, Omidyar will invest Rs 25 crore with MSDF brining in Rs 3 crore. This investment will help IntelleGrow achieve its target of lending to more than 250 companies across India, with a loan book of at least Rs 500 crore million by 2016.

IGF extends debt financing to early-stage enterprises with a turnover of less than Rs 50 crore and at least 12 months of track record. It provides customised financing solutions using flexible repayment schedules linked to cash flows.

To date, IGF has disbursed more than 60 loans, totalling more than Rs 60 crore to SMEs across India.

"Our offering in the form of venture debt creates value for promoters and investors and helps multiply the social impact. With investment from Omidyar Network, we have found a new partner in this work - a partner that endorses our model and our track-record," said Sanjib Jha, CEO and director, IntelleGrow.

IGF is a registered NBFC, founded two years ago by Intellecap Capital Advisory Services Pvt Ltd, with support from Shell Foundation. Its priority sectors for investment are modern energy, agriculture supply chain, healthcare, water & sanitation, education and financial inclusion. In early 2013, IntelleGrow received additional capital from MSDF.

Another venture debt finance firm active in the country is Silicon Valley bank.

"Omidyar Network's investments in entrepreneurship build on the principles of traditional venture capital, we support market-based approaches to catalyze economic change. By supporting debt for Indian social ventures through IntelleGrow, we hope to spark greater confidence among mainstream investors in this model," said Dimple Sanghi, director, investments, Omidyar Network India Advisors.

Omidyar, a VC firm, has committed more than $670 million to for-profit companies and non-profit organisations to date. Recently it invested $11 million in solar lighting products maker D.Light Design alongwith Draper Fisher Jurvetson.

"We are pleased that early risk capital has helped IntelleGrow to successfully expand and scale while supporting early stage organizations in the education and health sectors. With the new investments, we are confident this will usher in a new approach to helping the underprivileged, urban poor through IntelleGrow's successful model," said Satyam Darmora, director, Family Economic Stability, MSDF.

MSDF, a philanthropic organisation of Dell founder, invests in companies in the US, South Africa and India. Since 2006, it has invested more than $120 million.

Last month, the firm invested in Atlanta-based Gray Matters Capital (GMC)-incubated education services firm Gray Matters India Pvt. Ltd.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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