Venture capital firm Canaan Partners has committed investments of nearly 140 crore in two firms including a microfinance institution (MFI), a top executive said on Wednesday. The fund has invested approximately Rs 45 crore in the Chennai headquarted Equitas Microfinance.The other investment is in Naaptol Online Shopping Pvt. Ltd,(http://www.naaptol.com/).
The investment by Canaan in a Microfinance Company is a departure from it’s regular investments in technology startup’s. The firm has been investing in India since 2006 and has a total investment of nearly $110 million.
Equitas Microfinance was founded in 2007 by P N Vasudevan who had previously been the vice president in Cholamandalam Investment & Finance Co Ltd.At Cholamandalam, Mr Vasudevan handled the retail business division comprising of vehicle loans.
Equitas currently has a loan portfolio exceeding Rs 600 Cr and serves over 10 lakh(1 million) customers collectively in the states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. In April, Equitas had raised about Rs 108 Crore from CLSA Capital Partners, while Sequoia had bought a 10% stake in Equitas from Kalpathi investments in January this year.