Bangalore-based Kinara Capital, a brand of Visage Holdings and Finance Private Limited (NBFC), has raised Rs 32 crore (~ US$5 million) in non-convertible debentures from Zurich,Switzerland-based responsAbility Investments, an asset manager which specialises in debt and equity financing for private firms, reported Times of India.

Founded in 2011 by former Accenture senior executive Hardika Shah, Kinara Capital provides financing of USD $2,000 to $20,000 to small-to-medium enterprises (SME) in India with turnover of less than Rs.2 Crores, filling the gap between microfinance and commercial capital.

The company is focused on lending to growing businesses (usually 2-20 employees) that require funding for working capital, capital assets, and start-up needs. Kinara Capital focus industries include agri-products, handicraft production, water, food, and energy.

The company has earlier raised Rs 96 crore ($14.7 million) from mid-market private equity firm Gaja Capital, GAWA Capital and existing investors Patamar Capital and Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, in October 2017, followed by $14.5 million funding in Series C round, in November of same year.

Jaskirat Chadha, senior investment officer, responsAbility, said, "responsAbility-managed funds have been providing funding for financial institutions targeting micro, small and medium-sized enterprises for the past 15 years. Kinara Capital is a successful player in the inclusive finance area that actively contributes to driving economic growth as well as increasing the standard of living of large sections of the population."

Founded in 2003, responsAbility Investments AG is a private Swiss enterprise which has $3 billion assets under management invested in 540 companies in 90 countries. Its core business are investments in microfinance companies which provide credit and other banking services to very small, small and medium-sized enterprises who have previously had limited access to formal financial services in frontier or developing countries.

Besides operations in Switzerland, responsAbility has its own personnel in Lima (Peru), Mumbai (India), Nairobi (Kenya), Hong Kong (China), Bangkok (Thailand) as well as in Paris (France) and Oslo (Norway). One of its founding partner was Credit Suisse, the second largest Swiss bank, where the present CEO of responsAbility, Klaus Tischhauser, had worked before.

Recent Activity in Lending Startups

Last November, Paytm invested undisclosed amount in CreditMate, a Mumbai-based lending startup addressing the market for loans against two-wheelers through their partner dealer network for customers who might be new to credit.

Prior to this, Bengaluru-based online installment store for young adults, KrazyBee, raised $8 million (around Rs 51.7 crore) in its Series A funding round led by Shunwei Capital and popular Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi Technologies.

In December, Faircent, touted as India's largest P2P lending company, raised Rs. 25 crore in a high-profile funding round led by Incofin Investment Management with participation from its existing investors.

[Top Image - Hardika Shah | source]

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