Avanti Finance
Bengaluru-based Avanti Finance (“Avanti”), a technology-led NBFC focused on financial inclusion, has secured USD 24 million equity funding from Rabo Partnerships, the wholly owned subsidiary of the Rabobank Group focused on financial inclusion and rural development, and IDH Farmfit Fund. Existing investors Oikocredit and NRJN Trust also participated in the fundraise. The investment will support Avanti's mission of providing frictionless, affordable and hyperlocal credit products to smallholder farmers in India, enabling them to build sustainable livelihoods.

The investment in Avanti is in line with Rabo Partnerships’ "smallholder ecosystem" strategy, which focuses on providing data-driven finance solutions to smallholder farmers through local cooperatives and service providers. Smallholders play an increasingly important role in feeding a growing world population. Increasing access to financial services will benefit farmer households and help achieve rural development and global food system change.

Rahul Gupta, CEO of Avanti Finance said, "We are delighted to have Rabo Partnerships and IDH Farmfit Fund as our new partners with their global experience in the agri space. There is complete mission-alignment to create a population scale, digital financial inclusion platform for the un/underserved segment, including smallholder farmers that constitute 86% of our agrarian economy, yet continue to battle against the circle of poverty. This investment will support ongoing investments in our deep tech platform to develop fit for purpose hyperlocal credit products, automated data & social signals driven underwriting for data-dark customers, amplify our partnership network and accelerate co-lending programs with other financial institutions for capital efficiency. The Avanti team has done a ton of heavy lifting to establish a digital delivery model with our unique paperless, presenceless & cashless approach, served 275K households, disbursed over 1300 crores with a lean team of only 65 employees and zero proprietary branches, showcasing the power of digital & leveraging existing community based networks. We are now ready to take the leap towards 1.5 million served households with a targeted AUM of over 2500 crores in the next 24 months.”

Marianne Schoemaker, CEO Rabo Partnerships at Rabobank said, “Avanti has established itself as a frontrunner in digital and business model innovation by leveraging local organisations and high-tech financial solutions, and we are excited to support its growth. We believe in Avanti’s vision of financial inclusion, especially for the agricultural sector, where access to appropriate financial services remains a challenge for many. Due to the large number of farmers, the digital infrastructure and the ICT talent available, the Indian market is the ideal place to test and scale innovative solutions for food transition and creating a more inclusive society. This investment supports our strategy of promoting data-driven finance solutions through local cooperatives and service providers, which is close to our roots as a cooperative bank.”

Miguel Tamayo Maertens, Investment Director at IDH Farmfit Fund said, "Avanti has developed a scalable ,digital solution to unlock finance for smallholder farmers. Smallholder farming is at the core of livelihood economic activities in rural India and we are excited to support Avanti's mission of providing access to timely and affordable finance to millions of farmers. This strategic partnership supports the IDH Farmfit Fund strategy to invest in innovative and impactful solutions that are enabling the access to finance and connected services to smallholder farmers so they can improve their livelihoods".

Avanti has co-created more than 180 customised loan products to cater to different types of livelihood streams and income flows. Avanti Finance currently has 75 mission-aligned partners including social enterprises, financial institutions, business correspondents, agri tech players and Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) covering 24 states and appx 300 districts in India

Abhiraj Krishna Associates acted as the legal advisors and Unitus Capital acted as exclusive financial transaction advisor to Avanti.

About Avanti Finance

Avanti’s mission is to enable sustainable livelihoods and empower the next 100 million households through accessible and affordable financial services. It is building a co-creation platform that fosters hyperlocal livelihood innovation and mass customisation. Avanti believes community-centric systems enable the digitisation of the social trust of the users, which is critical to building scale in the unbanked segment. For more information, see www.avantifinance.in

About Rabo Partnerships

Rabo Partnerships is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Rabobank Group, focused on creating structural impact through improvement of financial inclusion, rural development and food security. Drawing on the capabilities of the Rabobank Group, Rabo Partnerships contributes with knowledge, networks, digital solutions, impact finance and investments to partnerships for improving rural development and agricultural sectors in emerging economies. The activities of Rabo partnerships focus on two transitions Rabobank wants to contribute to: A More Inclusive Society & Food Transition. Rabobank’s mission of Growing a better world together is also reflected in Rabo Partnerships’ collaborations with many public and private sector partners. For more information, go to visit Rabo Partnerships - Rabobank.

About IDH Farmfit Fund

The IDH Farmfit Fund is a EUR 100m impact investment fund, aimed at enabling increased access to affordable finance for smallholders and allow for responsible business growth and/or efficiency gains for smallholder farmers. The Fund takes on the highest-risk positions in farmer related investment transactions, to reduce liabilities for borrowers and lenders. In turn, smallholder farmers can access long-term financing that allows them to invest in their farms, increase productivity, and adopt best practices for climate-smart agriculture. The IDH Farmfit Fund is facilitated by IDH, The Sustainable Trade Initiative, and supported by a unique coalition of partners including commercial banks, development banks, government bodies and value chain companies. www.idhsustainabletrade.com

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