Home / Companies / Start-ups /  British International Investment leads 200 cr round in Kinara Capital

Small business lender Kinara Capital on Friday said it has secured 200 crore (around $25 million) in a financing round led by UK's development finance institution (DFI) British International Investment (BII).

The round also saw participation from existing investors Nuveen Global Impact Fund and ASN Microkredietfonds, a listed and regulated Dutch microfinance fund advised by Triple Jump.

“This new equity investment will propel Kinara to grow 5x by 2025 as it aims to reach an assets under management (AUM) of 6,000 crore by accessing to formal financial inclusion via its myKinara app," the company said in a statement.

This takes the Bengaluru-based fintech firm’s total equity fundraise to $90 million since inception in 2011, Hardika Shah, Founder and CEO at Kinara Capital, told VCCircle.

In April this year, the MSME-focused lender had last raised an equity round of 380 crore (around $50 million) from two new global investors led by Nuveen Global Impact Fund, along with Dutch investor Triple Jump.

“We have already crossed 1,700 crore AUM as on September. With consumer demand back and SMEs looking to grow their businesses, demand is not a challenge for us. And with automation of our business, we aim to grow faster and plan to double from March this year to 2,400-2,500 crore by March end 2023," said Shah.

“We have moved from traditional underwriting to fully automated AI/ML based underwriting and decision-making across branches. This has helped us reduce our turnaround time (TAT) from around 5—8 days five years ago to now 28-48 hours," Shah added.

Established in 1948 as CDC, which was rebranded as British International Investment beginning April 2022, the investment company has an existing portfolio of over $2 billion in India. Globally, in the last five years, it has invested close to £7 billion (around 69,620 crore).

Last year, BII announced the intention to invest up to $1 billion in climate funding in India over the next five years. Over the last four years, CDC has invested over $1 billion in climate finance across Africa and South Asia.

“BII seeks to invest in companies that demonstrate strong development impact capacity and offer tech-enabled innovative solutions with high potential for scalability and Kinara Capital meets these criteria…," said Manav Bansal, Managing Director and Head of India, British International Investment.

Founded by Shah more than a decade ago, Kinara is a non-banking financial company (NBFC) operated by Visage Holdings and Finance Pvt. Ltd. It has 125 branches with presence in six states and plans to enter one more state either Madhya Pradesh or Rajasthan in the coming year.

Shah further said that Kinara had reported profit at 14 crore for March this year and expects this to grow 2.5-3 times by March 2023.

In October last year, Kinara Capital had last raised debt financing of 70 crore from Invest in Visions GmbH (IIV).

Shubhobrota Dev Roy
Shubhobrota Dev Roy is a copy editor with Mint. He hails from a small town called Silchar in Cachar district of Southern Assam. He graduated with a bachelors degree in the humanities from Gurucharan College. He also has a masters degree in Mass Communication from Guru Jambeshwar University in Haryana. He loves playing cricket, reading horror stories, binge watching shows and exploring new restaurants.
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