The Annual (FY 2015-16) Social Performance Report of Caspian Impact Investments(CII), the debt fund set up and managed by Caspian is now live.
CII provides loans with tenors ranging from 6 months upto 5 years for both capital expenditure or working capital requirements. CII offers term loans, short term working capital demand loans and receivables based finance products to professionally run organisations which have a clear social and/or environmental potential across sectors like food & agribusiness, microfinance, small business finance, affordable housing development, affordable housing finance, financial inclusion enablers and healthcare. Starting this year, the fund will also provide debt to clean energy and energy efficiency companies.
Ujjivan Financial Services’ IPO closed yesterday. It was a top draw amongst investors with the issue being subscribed 40.6 times as of 7pm on Monday. This is the second successful IPO that Caspian investees have seen in the last few weeks with the Equitas IPO issue also having a stellar closing.
Caspian was the first institutional investor in Ujjivan, at a time when the Company was an idea promoted by Samit Ghosh. It was through Caspian’s initial investment, that the minimum capital requirement of INR 20 million, for setting up an NBFC, was met. Over the years, Caspian has contributed to the steady growth and evolution of Ujjivan as one the finest microfinance institutions in India. Caspian invested in Ujjivan through Bellwether Microfinance Fund and through India Financial Inclusion Fund.
Ujjivan has also received a license for becoming a small finance bank and the IPO is the first step towards conforming to the norms specified by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The issue of shares, which closed on Monday, was made to comply with the RBI’s directive to bring down the foreign shareholding to below 49%. After the issue the foreign shareholding in Ujjivan will come down from 77% to nearly 45%.
Our hearty Congratulations to the Ujjivan team on their well-deserved success!
Please read news article for more details on the Ujjivan IPO: Article
Equitas Holdings, a Chennai based diversified financial services player that provides small ticket loans to individuals and micro enterprises closed a highly successful IPO on 7th April, 2016. The company has three business verticals which include microfinance, commercial vehicle finance and housing finance.
The IPO issue got subscribed more 17 times even though Foreign Institutional Investors were not allowed to participate. This is possibly the largest ever domestic only IPO issue and is the first ever issue of a Small Finance Bank licensee.
Caspian was one of the earliest investors in Equitas, way back in 2008 and had made a series of investments over the years from its two funds – Bellwether Microfinance Fund (Bellwether) and India Financial Inclusion Fund(IFIF). At the time of the IPO, Caspian’s IFIF was the third largest shareholder in the company. As a part of the IPO, Caspian exited a part of its holdings in Equitas. It will continue to hold a small stake post the IPO.
It is also worth mentioning that as a part of Caspian’s impact assessment initiatives, Equitas Holdings underwent GIIRS rating process and received a Platinum and 5 Stars ratings for social and environmental measures, the highest ratings available under GIIRS. GIIRS is a ratings platform for impact investing that provides comparable social and environmental performance data on high impact investment funds and companies seeking investment capital.
Caspian has recently made an equity investment in Veritas Finance Private Limited – a small business finance company. Founded in November, 2015 by D Arulmany, Veritas Finance meets the short, medium and long term financial requirements of the financially excluded micro and small enterprises.
In this round, Veritas Finance raised a total of INR 300 mn from investors led by Lok Capital advised fund Sarva Capital and others including Caspian Impact Investment Adviser.
The Caspian Team wishes you a Very Happy and Prosperous New Year! We hope 2016 brings success, joy and satisfaction to you and your loved ones.
As we move into this new year, we look back to take stock of the year gone by. 2015 has been a very fulfilling year for us at Caspian. Here are some of the key milestones that we achieved in 2015:
A total of 7 Caspian investees got in-principle licenses to set up small finance banks. Three of these are equity portfolio companies in which Caspian was a seed/early stage investor.
CII ( our impact debt initiative) crossedINR 250 Crin disbursals since inception in April, 2013. We ended 2015 with an outstanding portfolio ofINR 150 Cr, doubling the outstanding portfolio of INR 72 Cr at the end of 2014.
With additional domestic funding, CII achieved a fund size of INR 230 Cr at the end of 2015.
We established a risk sharing partnership withUSAID’s Development Credit Authoritywhich will enable us to extend financing to high impact enterprises in India.
We established a risk and knowledge sharing partnership withRabo Rural Fundexclusively focussed on sustainable food and agri-businesses in India.
Within 2.5 years, CII has a built up a base of 32 active clients across financial inclusion and food & agribusiness sectors. More than 50% of our loans are to repeat clients.
Year 2016 promises to be an equally exciting year for Caspian. In 2016, we will start working with healthcare companies and possibly add one more impact sector to CII’s mandate. Beyond that, Caspian is looking togrow the teamand launch new strategic initiatives, which we hope to update you on, shortly.
Until then, we wish you and your family a wonderful year ahead!
The Annual Social Performance Report of Caspian Impact Investments(CII), the third fund set up and managed by Caspian is now live. The fund aims to promote the growth of enterprises that reach out to the underserved and enable entrepreneurs to scale their business without depending entirely upon equity capital. CII is a multi-sector debt fund with focus sectors for the year FY 2014-15 being food & agribusiness, microfinance, small business finance and affordable housing. Starting this financial year, the fund will also provide debt to healthcare enterprises and well as financial inclusion enabling (technology and distribution) companies. Hope you enjoy reading this report.
On 16th September 2015, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced the list of selected applicants who have won the in-principal approval to set up Small Finance Banks.
The RBI has come out with two different sets of differentiated banking licenses in the recent past. With the Payment Bank licenses issued last month and the Small Finance Bank licenses issued earlier this week, the financial inclusion sector in India is up for a big transformation.
Three of Caspian equity investees (Equitas, Janalakshmi, Ujjivan) and a total of seven Caspian portfolio companies (equity and debt investees) have got the approvals in this round.
While Caspian was one of the earliest equity investors in Ujjivan, Janalakshmi and Equitas from its equity funds- the Bellwether Microfinance Fund and India Financial Inclusion Fund (IFIF), it has also extended debt to four of the remaining seven selected companies from Caspian Impact Investments (CII), the third impact fund set up and managed by Caspian.