SEWA Grih Rin Limited raises Series B capital funding of INR 670 Mn

Mumbai, 20 March 2019: SEWA Grih Rin Limited (branded as Sitara), an affordable housing finance company of the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) Group, has raised Series B funding of INR 670 Mn from Oikocredit, Omidyar Network India, HDFC Life Insurance, HDFC Holdings Ltd. & Women’s World Banking. Intellecap’s Investment Banking Group acted as the exclusive financial advisor for the transaction.

SEWA Grih Rin Ltd. is promoted by SEWA Mutual Benefit Trust. RNT Associates (RNTA), is one of the early investors and has further strengthened the Company’s path towards sustainable growth. The consistent support of Series A investors including RNTA has been instrumental in establishing the Company’s operations since inception.

As of February 28, 2019, the Company has sanctioned loans of approximately INR 2214 Mn. The current portfolio stands at over INR 1,319 Mn with a customer base of over 5,700 borrowers.

“Most women long for a house of their own, but women who live and work in the informal sector could only dream, knowing their wishes will remain unfulfilled. Now they are able to approach SEWA Grih Rin and turn their dream into a reality. We are so happy that we can now reach out and fulfill the dreams of so many more.” said Renana Jhabvala, Chairperson, SEWA Grih Rin Limited (Sitara).

The company started operations in 2015 as an affordable housing finance company to under-served and low-income households in urban and peri-urban locations, with a special focus on advancing land rights of women in the informal sector. Through an innovative use of alternative collateral and progressive tenure documents, SEWA Grih Rin Ltd. works towards bringing these families into the fold of formal financial services.

The company provides loans in the range of INR 2-5 Lakhs for house construction, extension, purchase and renovation. With an established presence in Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra and Gujarat, the Company will be using the funds to strengthen its position in existing geographies as well as to expand strategically to other states.

“Millions of families living in the urban spacerely on the unorganized sector for a living, and they continue to remain financially excluded from formal banking systems due to tenuous land tenure rights. We are thrilled with this investment as we will get the opportunity to further scale SEWA Grih Rin Ltd’s operations. We shall be raising another INR 1000 Mn soonand embed ourselves into the affordable housing finance space in India.” said Shruti Gonsalves, MD & CEO at SEWA Grih Rin Limited (Sitara).

“We are very delighted to be part of SEWA’s journey in bridging the financial needs of women borrowers in EWS / LIG category. SEWA Grih Rin Limited (Sitara) has developed a unique model to provide a sustainable edge over other players in burgeoning affording housing finance market.” says Gagandeep Bakshi, Head of Investment Banking at Intellecap, which advised the Company exclusively on this transaction.

“SEWA Grih Rin’s goals and values are aligned with Oikocredit’s mission to improve the quality of life of low-income people. We see Company’s scalable business model as playing a key role in fostering inclusion and equality in the economy and the home loans segment in particular. We believe our investment in SEWA Grih Rin Ltd. will support access to finance for building safe and secure homes.” said Anirudh Sarda, Equity Officer at Oikocredit.

Shreya Deb, Director, Investments, Omidyar Network India, added, “We are excited to partner with SGRL on this journey. We firmly believe that financial institutions need to find innovative solutions to overcome the lack of “good” property documentation in low-income urban settlements and allow funding to flow where it really matters. SGRL has shown that it is possible to underwrite these customers, thus improving their housing, strengthening their property rights and helping them create a more meaningful life.”

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