Janalakshmi announces $210mn equity round, Led by TPG

TPG’s investment adds to the 2014 investment it made in Janalakshmi. Existing investors, including an investment fund managed by Morgan Stanley Private Equity Asia, Havells India, and Vallabh Bhansali, also participated in the round alongside new investors.

April 18, 2016 2:30 IST | India Infoline News Service
News Newspaper Text
Janalakshmi Financial Services Limited (“Janalakshmi”) today announced a $150 million (INR 10 billion) round of primary equity financing led by global private investment firm TPG. In addition, secondary transactions aggregating $60 million (INR 4 billion) will provide partial exits to existing investors.
TPG’s investment adds to the 2014 investment it made in Janalakshmi. Existing investors, including an investment fund managed by Morgan Stanley Private Equity Asia, Havells India, and Vallabh Bhansali, also participated in the round alongside new investors.
Janalakshmi is the largest and fastest-growing microfinance institution in India and is among the country’s largest issuers of pre-paid cards and micro-pensions. The company began in 2000 as India’s first urban microfinance program. After a six-year period, Janalakshmi was established as a standalone, purpose-driven, for-profit institution focused on improving the lives of the urban poor. Now, Janalakshmi is represented in more than 184 cities across 19 states and has an AUM of approximately $1.65 billion (INR 10.5 billion).
Janalakshmi’s core product is Small Batch (SB) loans disbursed to Joint Liability Groups. The microfinance institution also provides individual loans to those who have demonstrated a successful credit track record as borrowers under the SB format, as well as loans to micro and small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). Janalakshmi’s promoter is the Jana Urban Foundation, a Section 8 company that undertakes activities to deepen understanding of the challenges around financial inclusion. The Jana Urban Foundation also addresses issues via education, skill development, community connectivity, and financial advisory initiatives.
“Our success depends on meeting the needs of our customers,” said Ramesh Ramanathan, Promoter and Chairman of Janalakshmi. “This latest round of capital will fuel further expansion of the products and services we offer and bring them to more families, businesses, and individuals. We are delighted to successfully close the transaction. Working alongside our investors, who truly share our vision and passion for transforming the lives of the financially underserved, we will build a stronger India through each loan we make.”
“For more than 15 years, TPG has partnered with financial services businesses across India and Asia,” said Puneet Bhatia, Partner and Country Head of India for TPG. “In India, there is a tremendous opportunity to fill the gap between what is being offered by traditional banks and what the nation’s growing population needs. Janalakshmi is a pioneer of microfinance and is at the forefront of addressing this opportunity in a meaningful way. We look forward to our continued partnership with the company and to helping more Indians gain access to financial services.”
TPG has partnered with Indian financial services companies including Shriram Capital, Shriram City Union Finance, Shriram Transport Finance, and Union Bank of Colombo in Sri Lanka. TPG’s investments in financial services also span several countries in Asia and a wide variety of companies such as BTPN, a microloan business in Indonesia, and Shenzhen Development Bank in China.
"Funds managed by Morgan Stanley Private Equity Asia have invested in Janalakshmi since 2013. This is the third round of funding that we have participated in. During the tenure of this investment, Janalakshmi has developed as a leading institution focused on financial inclusion within the lower-income segment. With its focus on technology and innovation, Janalakshmi’s management team has made the company one of the pioneers in this area. Morgan Stanley Private Equity Asia is proud to be partnering with Janalakshmi in the journey ahead," said Nirav Mehta, Executive Director of Morgan Stanley Private Equity Asia in India.
“We are delighted to participate in the ongoing transformation of Janalakshmi Financial Services Limited. We believe we are part of the institutional building that will go a long way to service an under-penetrated and under-serviced section of the society. The recent approval of a Small Bank License will further Janalakshmi’s effort to provide cost-effective financial solutions and further accelerate the financial inclusion endeavor of the company,” said Mr. Anil Rai Gupta, Director of QRG Enterprises Limited.
Janalakshmi will use the new capital to drive customer acquisition and build upon current product offerings. Last September, Janalakshmi received in-principle approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to convert to a small finance bank. The current round of equity will help Janalakshmi transition to a bank structure and comply with the RBI’s rules for conversion to a small finance bank.

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