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Svasti Microfinance Private Limited (Svasti) – an RBI Licensed MFI, has raised a total of Rs 310 million from its existing investors Adar Poonawalla, Nordic Microfinance Initiative (NMI) and Rajiv Dadlani Group.

Svasti was co-founded by Arunkumar Padmanabhan and Narayanan Subramaniam in 2010 with the objective of bringing their extensive experience in banking, finance and technology development into the consumer finance sector.

The founders wanted to fulfil the right to finance, and transform the lives of women, especially those uncounted millions who do not have any collateral to support their bids for finance, thus bringing about positive change in society.

Svasti today services around 1,87,500 customers across 63 branches spread over 4 states, aggregating a loan portfolio of around Rs 4 Billion. Over the years, Svasti’s portfolio quality has been among the best in the industry.

Collection & disbursement

In fact, Svasti’s post-pandemic collection efficiency has reached 94% and it expects both collections and disbursements to reach pre-pandemic levels by the end of this financial year. More so, Svasti has been certified as a Great Place to Work for the second year in a row.

In 2015, Svasti raised funds from billionaire Adar Poonawalla, who had subsequently invested in all follow-on rounds and now in the current round as well. In 2018, Svasti raised funds from Nordic Microfinance Initiative, which has made follow on investments in 2019 and again in the current round.

The Company has raised a total of Rs 1.3 billion in capital till date. Existing investors also include SajidFazalbhoy, Kayenne Ventures (Singapore) and ArihantPatni Family. To boost its capital base and fund its growth plans, Svasti would be raising around INR1.5 Billion of equity in FY 2021-22.

In order to amplify their efforts, Svasti has built a proprietary fintech platform for its business, SvasTech, using cutting edge technology embedded with artificial intelligence and machine learning. 

Operational risk

SvasTech helps Svasti to completely control and comprehensively manage its operational risks using fully automated processes. SvasTech brings in higher levels of operational efficiency, which reduces redundancies and helps Svasti significantly reduce operating costs.SvasTech also helps Svasti to better understand each of its customers, who are from the informal micro-enterprise sector.

Commenting on the efficiency of SvasTech and escalating growth this transaction anticipates, Svasti’s Cofounder Narayanan says SvasTech is more than a fintech, it is a powerful, dynamic, empowering business tool unmatched in the microfinance industry. 

“We have productively used the last few months, when normal business was disrupted due to the pandemic, to make substantial improvements and upgrades to SvasTech. We’re very excited about the potential and the possibilities that SvasTechopens up for us as we scale up our business in the coming years,” said Narayanan

Furthermore, Narayanan said the constant trust of existing investors in Svasti will support the plan to double our branches and grow our portfolio to Rs 8 Billion by March 2022. 

Financial service 

Svasti’s Cofounder Arunkumar added that the company has built a great organisation with over 800 employees who are all very excited to receive such strong support and validation from our existing investors during these difficult times.

“Our team is energized to pursue our vision to become a diversified financial services provider to the millions of low and middle-income households across India. We have superior proprietary technology and analytics capabilities for our fintech platform, which we will further develop and leverage to build a top-quality consumer finance business that will be profitable and also have a high social impact,” said Arunkumar.

Arunkumar also said this round of investment from the company’s existing investors motivates everyone associated to achieve the mission of fulfilling every woman’s Right to Finance and help transform the lives of their families as well.

Commenting on the transaction, NMI Managing Director Arthur Sletteberg says the company is very happy with the manner in which Svasti has taken up and managed the challenges of the pandemic that has adversely impacted various businesses globally.

RBI license

“We have a lot of faith in the Svasti team’s ability to navigate these challenges and to emerge as one of the leading companies in its sector in the coming years,” said Arthur Sletteberg.

Svasti is an RBI licensed NBFC-MFI with headquarters in Mumbai. Svasti’s vision is to fulfill the right to finance of women with a host of financial services and knowledge, that will help transform their lives.

Nordic Microfinance Initiative (NMI) invests in microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Asia and Africa, strictly focusing on double bottom line investments, where both financial and social goals are met.

NMI is a public-private partnership, owned by the Norwegian and Danish governmental funds for developing countries (Norfund and IFU) and large private sector institutions.

Investment

Through 11 years of operation, NMI manages aggregated commitments of $ 370 million. Presently, NMI holds 26investments. NMI’s headquarter is in Oslo, Norway, with offices in New Delhi (India), Copenhagen (Denmark) and Nairobi (Kenya).

Adar Poonawalla is the chief executive officer (CEO) and executive director of Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer by the number of doses produced. In 2016, he was listed by GQ magazine as one of the 50 most influential young Indians and was awarded Philanthropist of the year.

In 2016, he launched www.adarpcleancity.com, a citywide initiative where he committed and spent $20 Million to clean up the city of Pune using hundreds of trucks, Glutton machines and bins across the city under his personal management and dedicated team.  

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