Continuing his funding streak in NBFCs, Flipkart co-founder and current CEO of CRID, Sachin Bansal, has chosen SMEs-focused lending platform U Gro Capital as the next bet.
Bansal, along with the Poonawalla family, will invest about Rs 100 in the Mumbai-based NBFC.
According to an ET report, the deal will be done via two separate securitisation and bond deals. It would be first securitisation transaction with Poonawalla Finance Pvt. Ltd whereas Bansal has entered into a non-convertible debenture deal with the BSE-listed firm.
A separate report of BusinessLine revealed that Bansal has invested around Rs 50 crore in U Gro and Cyrus Poonawalla Group-owned firm had already put in Rs 25 crore in it.
The fresh capital is likely to be deployed for business expansion, including building a strong loan book for small businesses.
Steered by Shachindra Nath, U Gro has raised over Rs 950 crore from the likes of PAG Asia, ADV Partners, Citigroup, Well Fargo, New Quest and Samina Capital and well-known family offices.
According to Nath, the entry of high-profile investors will enable the firm to attract more capital in the future.
Formerly known as Chokhani securities, U GRO has shortlisted eight sectors including healthcare, education, chemicals, and food processing / FMCG to provide customised loan product for them. Since January 2019, it has disbursed more than Rs 600 crore in debt to 6,000 small businesses across India.
U Gro in conjunction with global analytical company CRISIL also researches a macro and microeconomic parameters to bridge the gap between funding and the potential for growth.
Bansal, through his investment vehicle BAC Acquisitions or BACQ, has already made three investments in NBFCs – Chaitanya Rural Intermediation Development Services Private Limited (CRIDS), Altico Capital and IndoStar Capital.
After acquiring a majority stake in CRIDS, Bansal has also become the CEO of the microfinance firm.
Focusing on NBFC, Bansal has also remained loyal for Indian startups across sectors. Only in 2019, he made some notable investments in early and growth-stage startups such as Ather Energy, Bounce, Kissht, boAt, Vogo, and Krazybee.