Light Microfinance garners US$ 10 million in Series-A funding
Leading European Impact Investors Incofin, NMI and Triple Jump put their weight behind Ahmedabad-based Light Microfinance to expand their technology-enabled financial inclusion of rural women borrowers
JULY 2021: Ahmedabad-based Light Microfinance (Light) has secured US$ 10 million (INR 75 Cr) in its Series-A funding from leading European Impact Investors Incofin (Belgian), Nordic Microfinance Initiative (Norwegian) and Triple Jump (Dutch). This is the first such investment by Triple Jump in India. The three funds follow an investment strategy aimed at creating social or environmental impacts in addition to financial gains. The point of impact investing is to use money and investment capital for positive social results.
Light’s CEO Rakesh Kumar says, “This is a very important milestone. We are very happy to have three top investors joining us. The investment will boost our expansion plans in the states of Haryana, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. We are also investing in multiple technology interventions like an AI-driven analytics platform and mobile applications to enhance sourcing, credit underwriting and collection capabilities through individualized mobile training modules and performance trackers.”
In FY21, the Company reported a portfolio growth of 30% to 623 Cr with 0.9% NPA, which is less than one-sixth as compared to the industry average in India. “This investment strengthens our balance sheet and will enable further expansion of our loan book to over Rs 1000 Cr,” adds Aviral Saini, CFO at Light.
The investment round was led by Incofin. Aditya Bhandari, Partner & Co-Regional Director, Incofin, said, “We are truly impressed with the management team and their commitment to the impact space over the last 11 years. They have identified the right trends for the industry and built a robust model. To compliment, they have planned smart technology investments which will bring significant benefits to all stakeholders.”
Light Microfinance started its operations in 2009 and by March 2021, the company was catering to 2.17 lakh borrowers. It has a workforce of over 1400 people across 68 districts helping rural women access affordable loans for income generation by leveraging the company’s technology platform.
Incofin Investment Management
Incofin manages funds and investments in emerging countries driven by a desire to promote inclusive progress. Founded in 2001, its investors are leading development banks, insurance companies, pension funds, alternative investment funds, HNIs and retail investors.
Nordic Microfinance Initiative
Norway-based Nordic Microfinance Initiative (NMI) was established in 2008 and invests in institutions building financial inclusion in Africa and Asia.
Triple Jump B.V.
Triple Jump is an impact-focused investment manager that provides meaningful and responsible investment opportunities in emerging markets.
Light Microfinance provides micro and meso finance products and services focused towards lower income households in rural and peri-urban areas. The company has introduced many innovations in its operations and technology over the years. It will use the proceeds for further investments in technology and expansion of its operations in newer geographies.