World Bank's investment arm International Finance corporation (IFC) is in advanced talks to invest around $21 million (₹138 crore) in Mumbai-based LEAP India, a supply chain solutions startup, to fund the startup's capital expenditure plans for the next five years.

According to an IFC disclosure, the presence of IFC as an equity investor will provide comfort to additional investors and help the startup attract more debt funding required to complete its expansion plans.

"In addition to the expected equity investment, the team will also explore long-term debt financing to the company that is currently not available in the local market," said IFC in a statement.

Founded in 2013 by Sunu Mathew, LEAP India provides pallet and container on rental across India. Its core business is of returnable packaging and pooling of equipments namely - wooden pallets & boxes, plastic containers, metal wire mesh catering to all sectors that work with these products to store or transfer goods from one site to another.

In late last month, LiveMint reported that LEAP India is close to raising ₹300 crore of equity from global investors along with few existing investors.

So far, LEAP India has raised a total of $23.8 Mn in four funding rounds. LEAP India’s existing investors include Mayfield Fund, IndiaNivesh, Sixth Sense Ventures, TCI Ventures, and SSG Capital Management Group.

In May this year, the startup raised debt of about ₹25 crore from Avendus Finance, the non-banking financial company (NBFC) business of KKR-backed Avendus Capital. Prior to which, in January 2017, the company had raised $13 million from new and its existing investors.

LEAP has a pan India network comprising 18 warehouses, 14 contract manufacturing centres and a team of 270 employees.

About IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, it has already backed quite a few Indian startups like Byju's, Lenskart, Bigbasket and Blackbuck, with ticket sizes upwards of $5 million at Series-B stage and onward.

In April this year, Bengaluru-based Lithium Urban Technologies, an electric vehicle cab provider to corporate sector, had approached IFC for proposed $8 million investment for an equity.

Source - Business Standard

[Top Image - LEAP India]

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