IFMR Capital, now Northern Arc Capital, is seeking to raise its first offshore financial inclusion-focused fund and expand its business outside India
Mumbai: IFMR Capital has rebranded itself as Northern Arc Capital, as the company seeks to raise its first offshore financial inclusion focused fund and expand its business outside India, said a senior executive of the firm.
Established in 2008, IFMR Capital connects non-banking financial companies working among financially excluded households and businesses, such as micro-financiers, affordable housing finance companies and small business financiers with investors in existing and emerging debt capital markets.
“The last decade has been about breaking new ground towards building credibility and visibility for our clients and borrowers. The coming decade will be about building on the well-laid foundations of the decade that went by, and catapulting to the next level as an institution. We will forge strong strategic partnerships with domestic and international institutions that are committed to the long-run," said Kshama Fernandes, chief executive of IFMR Capital.
The rebranding will also see the company pursue a growth strategy that will see it tap overseas investors and markets. IFMR Capital plans to launch its maiden overseas fund, which will invest in financial inclusion focused lending businesses. The company is currently engaged with two investors to come on board as anchor investors for the fund. It has so far launched six funds with total AUM of Rs850 crore.
IFMR Capital is also in the process of setting up its first overseas joint venture. The venture will provide the company with the opportunity to extend its business in new overseas markets.
“The focus of the joint venture is the similar platform type approach that we have followed in India. The platform, in some sense, will be similar to what we are doing in India, in an international context, targeting similar markets which are underbanked and looking at capital market type investors internationally," said Fernandes. Last year, IFMR Capital entered into a partnership with Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. (SMBC) to facilitate investments in India’s priority sector. IFMR Capital also intends to use data analytics and technology to cover more sectors and also more entities in each of these sectors.
“I think there’s a lot of thought around digitization. We will not build technology in pieces, but will build a platform, which will holistically represent the business that we do," said Fernandes.
IFMR Capital is backed by Dvara Trust (formerly IFMR Trust), LeapFrog Investments, Eight Roads Ventures and Standard Chartered Private Equity. “Right now all PE investors put together hold around 55% in IFMR Capital," said Fernandes.