IntelleGrow looks to strike a century
The venture debt firm, which focuses on service providers enabling financial inclusion, recycling and clean energy , has struck 47 deals in the first six months of the current fiscal.
The speciality finance firm, which is backed by the impact investment firm Aavishkaar, Shell Foundation, Michael and Susan Dell Foundation and Omidyar Network, among others, expects to strike about 100 deals for the financial year ending March 2017, according to a senior executive.
"In terms of disbursal, we're lookingat a disbursal of Rs 250 crore-Rs 300 crore. We haven't put a number as yet on the balance sheet, and we're treating it more organically," Nitin Agrawal, chief operating officer, IntelleGrow, told ET.
The venture debt firm, which focuses on service providers enabling financial inclusion, recycling and clean energy , has struck 47 deals in the first six months of the current fiscal. This year, it has disbursed about Rs 200 crore, while it has lent about Rs 550 crore since inception.
This also comes at a time when venture debt, a relatively new asset class in India, is finding greater acceptance within the country's startup ecosystem. The acceleration in venture debt deal flow follows the slowing down of traditional risk capital inflows, as investors continue to tighten their purse strings and reposition their portfolios.
For instance, Temasek-backed InnoVen Capital sharply increased the pace of its lending to the Indian startup ecosystem, disbursing about Rs 133 crore, across 15 transactions, in the second quarter of the current fiscal.
Additionally, newer entrants, such as Trifecta Capital, set up last year by former Canaan Partners India managing director Khanna and Nilesh Kothari, formerly managing director -ventures and acquisitions for Accenture, have backed express surface logistics firm Rivigo and messaging platform Helpchat, none others. "Our preference is social enterprises and our goal is employment generation. We are focussed at early-stage, high-growth enterprises with cash flows, not ideas that will get funded it the future. In terms of volume of enterprises," IntelleGrow's Agrawal said.
The venture-debt firm typically disburses between Rs 50 lakh-Rs 10 crore, and works with banks and development finance institutions, which typically have a very strong focus towards social enterprises -a strategy that differs from its peers, which look at more commercial ventures. "The critical difference is that we are not only banking on the pool of money of the VCs. Just because an enterprise has not been backed by VC investors, doesn't stop us. We will still do our due diligence.A typical VC is just investing in an idea, whereas we are going down to the ledgers and analysing that even if there's been slight ups and downs, can the enterprise service their debt," said Agrawal.
However, it will not back ecommerce companies, or ventures operating in the aggregation space. It offers short-term and long-term loans, ranging from three months to five years. "We're not looking at fancy businesses that attract big names, the businesses have to be commercially viable and should have an on-ground impact," Agrawal said.