WestBridge leads $27.4M investment in Vistaar Finance

Private equity firm WestBridge Capital through its Westbridge Crossover Fund has led a Rs 160 crore ($27.37 million) round of Series C investment in Bangalore-based NBFC Vistaar Financial Services Pvt Ltd.

Existing investors Elevar Equity, Omidyar Network and Saama Capital have also participated in the round.

The firm had previously raised around $13 million in equity funding across two rounds in 2010-12 from Elevar Equity, Saama Capital, Omidyar Network and Lok Capital, according to VCCEdge, the data research platform of VCCircle.

Vistaar Finance will use the fresh funding for expanding its branch network to over 250 centres over the next four years with a projected portfolio of over Rs 2,500 crore.

As of January 31, 2014, Vistaar had a customer base of around 23,600 borrowers across 74 branches with a loan portfolio of Rs 207.1 crore.

Founded in April 2010, Vistaar claims to have built a unique credit methodology to undertake cash flow-based assessment of MSMEs even in the absence of conventional income documents and assesses their economic activities. The company is headquartered in Bangalore and operates through around 74 branches in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Gujarat.

Ernst & Young acted as the financial advisor to Vistaar for this round of funding.

This marks WestBridge's fourth fresh investment since January this year and second in NBFC firm after it invested in Chennai-based Cholamandalam Investment & Finance Co Ltd. In March this year WestBridge bought shares in Cholamandalam Investment from IFC.

Previously it has also invested in Dewan Housing Finance and in the microfinance space backed SKS Microfinance and Equitas.

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