By Shrija Agrawal (VCCircle.com)
Mauritius registered IFIF is an off-shore, India-focused equity fund investing in microfinance institutions.
Limited partners haven’t turned their face against microfinance institutions yet. Probably no reason to do that with the rural economy shining. Hyderabad based India Financial Inclusion Fund (IFIF) fund has raised $20 million in fresh capital, taking its total fund size to $58 million.
IFIF is advised by Hyderabad-based Caspian Advisors Pvt Ltd, who also manages Bellwether Microfinance Fund (Bellwether). IFIF’s investors include CDC Group, the Global Microfinance Equity Fund (GMEF), responsAbility Social Group AD, Gray Ghost Microfinance Fund, FMO and a U.S. institutional investor.
Set up in Mauritius in August 2008, IFIF is an off-shore India-focused equity fund, investing in high-growth microfinance institutions (MFIs) and microfinance enablers. IFIF’s primary focus is on equity investments in companies that are directly or indirectly associated with bringing about the inclusion of the poor within the formal financial system.
S. Viswanatha Prasad, Managing Director of Caspian, said: “Caspian’s track record and the resilience demonstrated by microfinance institutions and their clients have been instrumental in the fund being able to attract additional capital in these difficult market conditions.”
IFIF provides a wide range of financial services such as credit, savings, insurance, or remittance facilities.
Caspian’s Investment Director, Mona Kachhwaha, said: “ Not only does IFIF seek to deliver competitive financial returns to its investors, it also seeks to address the gap between the growing number of MFIs and the unmet financial demands of the clients. By providing funding that will contribute to the innovative diversification of financial products for the underserved, IFIF reiterates its commitment to maximising its multiple bottom line objectives.
Caspian Advisors is a Hyderabad based investment management and advisory services company focused on managing investment funds in the financial inclusion space. It began making investments in the microfinance space with its first fund – Bellwether Microfinance Fund, a $20 million Indian microfinance venture fun.
Just after SKS Microfinance announced its mega close of fourth round of funding at $75 million, another MF fund has increased its capital base. CDC has also put $15 million in Catalyst Microfinance Investors, which invests in greenfield microfinance institutions.