IFC, FMO, and Deutsche Bank Invest in Aavishkaar Goodwell to Support Growth of Microfinance in India
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, the Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO), and Deutsche Bank today announced their joint investment in the microfinance private equity company Aavishkaar Goodwell. This investment will support the launch of up to 60 greenfield microfinance organizations and the expansion of up to 10 fast-growing microfinance institutions across India.
The potential client base for microfinance in India is estimated at around 75 million households. Aavishkaar Goodwell’s goal is to support growth of the sector, bringing affordable financial services to underserved households and areas in India. The investment from IFC, FMO, and Deutsche Bank will help Aavishkaar Goodwell achieve this goal.
Aavishkaar Goodwell will provide equity capital and hands-on support to fast-growing microfinance organizations. It will also help build new microfinance organizations through an innovative franchising concept. The company is building up a $25 million portfolio across India. Its investments include $2 million in Share Microfin Ltd, the leading Indian microfinance, which plans to expand from more than a million clients today to 6 million by 2012. Aavishkaar Goodwell expects to invest about half of its portfolio in microfinance start-ups, as an equity partner in the innovative microfinance franchise initiative, IntelleCash. This initiative aims to reach 10 million clients by 2011. Partners in this program are ICICI Bank, the north Indian microfinance organization Cashpor, and the development finance advisory company Intellecap.
“Microfinance is a key component of IFC’s financial markets strategy in India. To support projects that have a sectoral impact and reach multiple beneficiaries, IFC will invest in companies that support the emergence and growth of microfinance institutions. We welcome Aavishkaar Goodwell’s innovative approach to help build capacity in the sector,” said Paolo M. Martelli, IFC Director for South Asia.
“Our investment will help Aavishkaar Goodwell support microfinance institutions by reaching more clients and offering a wider range of financial products and services. We will support the company’s efforts to help the sector grow faster and become more efficient,” explained Arthur Arnold, CEO of FMO.
“Investing in Aavishkaar Goodwell gives us exposure to the microfinance equity market in India, which is growing very rapidly. With their on-the-ground presence and track record, the company will apply a solid private equity approach in a mission-driven setting, building a balanced portfolio of smart capital investments,” added Asad Mahmood, Managing Director of Deutsche Bank Global Social Investment Funds.
“We are very pleased to partner with IFC, FMO, and Deutsche Bank. They have impressive experience in the microfinance sector. Their participation is a vote of confidence for our team and our position in the sector in India,” said Vineet Rai, Managing Partner of Aavishkaar Goodwell.
“With development finance institutions, banks, private investors, and pension funds on board, we have a balanced group of investors who share our vision that professional private equity investments in commercial microfinance organizations will deliver a significant social impact and attractive returns. This will enable us to attract more private and institutional capital to improve access to affordable financial services for millions of underserved people in India,” added Wim van der Beek, also Managing Partner of Aavishkaar Goodwell.
Aavishkaar Goodwell is an Indian-Dutch initiative of the teams behind Aavishkaar and Goodwell. Aavishkaar India Micro Venture Capital Fund (www.aavishkaar.org) is an innovative and UNDP award-winning fund that invests microequity in scaleable SMEs in India. Goodwell Microfinance Development Company (www.goodwell.nl), a Dutch microfinance private equity firm, is the leading investor in Aavishkaar Goodwell.
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