InnoVen Capital, Asia’s leading venture debt and specialty lending business, recently released its Q4 results along with the year-end performance for FY 2016-17. InnoVen reported a 2x growth this financial year by funding $85 million to 45 companies of which 31 were new additions to the rapidly expanding and diversified portfolio. This includes the largest venture debt deal done in the country till date i.e. Rs.55 crores to Oyo, the large Indian brand which owns and aggregates standardized hotel rooms. In the last quarter, $37 million was disbursed to 17 companies. As on March 2017 end, InnoVen Capital has till date funded $225 million to over 100 companies in India across 150+ transactions.

In addition to Oyo, other companies recently funded with Rs.25 crores or more include Swiggy (online food ordering and delivery service), Nestaway (managed home rental spaces),and Pepperfry(online furniture and home décor marketplace) totaling to aggregate funding of ~$30 million in large loans.The companies that raised venture debt in the last quarter also include OfBusiness (B2B marketplace for SMEs), Sayre (in-licensor and marketer of oncology and immunology products), Epigamia (consumer food brand), Zipgo (shuttle bus service aggregator), Bizongo (B2B marketplace for packaging material), Cloudcherry (customer experience management software) and Hotelogix (hotel management software) apart from follow on loans to existing portfolio companies such as (online matrimonial service), Rentomojo (rentals for furniture etc.) and Shadowfax (on-demand hyper-local logistics company).

Almost 50% of the debt deals done in the year were with companies that had raised upto Series B equity round, consistent with the investment philosophy of InnoVen Capital to fund startups across stages. During the year, InnoVen also closed seven syndication transactions for select portfolio companies under InnoVen Credit Assistance Program (‘InnoVenCAP’) which helps maturing companies meet their working capital or capital expenditure needs through conventional forms of debt finance in partnership with banks.

Commenting on the year, Mr. Vinod Murali, Deputy CEO India, InnoVen Capital added, “The Indian private debt market is an area of keen interest currently and venture debt is emerging as one of the pillars of this attractive opportunity. Venture debt has gained a strong level of adoption across lifecycle stages of startups with increasing interest from growth stage companies. It is difficult for conventional lenders to embrace loss making, high growth startups but there is a clear need for alternative sources of capital for founders with minimal dilution. It is heartening to see that the focus across most startups has shifted decisively towards profitability and better unit economics Vs expensive growth, which allows for sustainable businesses to be built on better foundations.”

InnoVen was also recently awarded with the ‘Best Venture Lending Firm 2017 - Asia’ at the AI International Fund Awards which recognized InnoVen for being the only global platform with regional focus that has the capability to lend into the largest markets across Asia and the rest of the world.In FY17, InnoVen Capital closed cross border deals for two companies – Capillary (omni-channel retail CRM solution) and Simplilearn (professional certification provider) across India and Singapore, in addition to the deals independently done in South east Asia.

Commenting on the stronghold in India and the overall platform, Mr. Ajay Hattangdi, Group COO and CEO India, InnoVen Capital said, “As part of the team that introduced venture debt in India more than a decade back, it is satisfying to see how the acceptance for our debt funding product has grown over the years to a point where InnoVen has been among the most active participants in the Indian venture capital scene in 2016-17. We were honoured to be recognised as Asia's Best Venture Debt Firm in March 2017. However, through initiatives like InnoVenCAP as well as other programs for connecting ecosystem participants, supporting startups and our signature research, InnoVen is seeking to expand its platform to include new ways to engage and support the ecosystem through more than just capital.”

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