Fino raises R270 crore

Source: Financial Information Network and Operations

Financial Information Network and Operations Ltd (Fino or the Company), India's leading end-to-end Financial Inclusion solution and services provider for unbanked & under-served rural markets, has raised growth funding of INR 70 Crore from a wholly owned subsidiary of HSBC Asian Ventures Fund 3 (HSBC) a fund advised by HSBC Private Equity Asia Limited (HPEA) Group and its existing shareholders Intel Capital (Intel) and International Finance Corporation (IFC).

HSBC and Intel have also purchased the entire of Legatum Ventures' (existing investor) stake in the company.

The banking industry in India has shown tremendous growth in the last decade, however, this has not reached vast segments of the population, especially the under privileged sections of the society. It is estimated that there are around 500-600 million people who are financially excluded in India. Being an end to end player, FINO has emerged as the pioneer in the Financial Inclusion space and is well poised to take advantage of this huge market opportunity and drive the future growth for Banks & Insurance companies. The company has successfully enrolled over 8 million customers to date and expects to enroll another 7 million by the end of this financial year. The Company is on a high growth path and will utilize the new capital to scale FINO's technology and to expand its reach enabling the Company to continue its growth trajectory.

Avendus Capital was the exclusive financial advisor for the transaction.

Commenting on the investment, Manish Khera, CEO of FINO said, "The new equity in FINO has come at an opportune time when Financial Inclusion is being seen not as desirable but as a necessity for growth and stability of social fabric in the country. The capital will help FINO further the cause of financial inclusion. FINO is privileged to be a sectoral entity with its existing set of banking and insurance investors which is further augmented with the entry of HSBC as one of its key investors".

Rishi Gupta, CFO of FINO said, "I must thank all our existing investors in reinstating their support for the FINO model which has gained strength in the last 3 years with over 8 million customers. The fresh inflow from HSBC, IFC and Intel will help FINO meet its financial need for building a scalable technology platform for 25 million customers and expanding its Business Correspondent network to over 25,000 locations over the next 3 3 years".

James Savage, Investment Director of HPEA in Hong Kong also commented on the investment, "FINO is a market leader and pioneer in providing technology solutions to financial institutions for reaching out to the under-served and unbanked sector in India. With more than 135 million households unbanked, the market has potential for exponential growth. We believe that FINO is well positioned to benefit from this opportunity."

Alok Gupta, Investment Director of HSBC Private Equity Advisors (India) Limited in Mumbai also commented on the investment, "Financial Inclusion is a key component of our corporate sustainability initiatives and includes areas such as education, livelihoods and microfinance. We intend to work with FINO to further develop opportunities in financial inclusion, particularly with corporate agencies and business entities."

"Fino is pioneering the use of technology in the banking industry, and we expect them to become a widely used platform for rural banking and NREGA payments," said Sudheer Kuppam, Managing Director, Intel Capital India, Japan, Australasia & South-East Asia. "The FINO management team has demonstrated great operational skills in building a scalable business model, which works very well in the highly complex and dispersed Indian market environment. We believe FINO's technology and operational skills will be relevant in other developing markets where similar demographics exist, and we expect to support the company in its overseas expansion plans."

IFC South Asia Director Paolo M Martelli, said, "IFC's continued support to FINO reflects our commitment to making financial services accessible to rural and urban communities who have not enjoyed such access before, thereby assisting development at the base of the pyramid in India."

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