Caspian Advisors Private Ltd., an Indian investment management and advisory services company specializing in the socially-responsible arena, recently launched the Caspian Impact Investments (CII) fund, which is targeted to raise USD 40 million for projects in the areas of microfinance, small business financing, affordable housing and agriculture. CII has so far fulfilled USD 10 million of the fund target from internal funds and the following investors: Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappijvoor Ontwikkelingslanden NV (FMO), a Dutch development finance institution; Triodos Doen and Hivos-Triodos Funds, which are managed by Netherlands-based Triodos Bank; and Gray Ghost Microfinance, a US-based private investor. Each of the investors specialize in impact investing and previously worked with Caspian on its first initiative, Bellwether Microfinance Fund (BMF), an onshore Indian venture fund. CII will disburse loans at a rate between 13 percent and 15 percent per year, 2 percentage points above the rate at which commercial banks reportedly often lend to such companies.
CII will be the third fund launched by Caspian, with prior funds including BMF, which was launched in 2005, and the India Financial Inclusion Fund (IFIF), which was launched in 2008. Together, these funds raised a total of USD 120 million.
By Jennifer Young, Research Associate
About Caspian Advisors Private Ltd.:
Caspian Advisors is an Indian investment management and advisory services company that invests capital in businesses delivering both financial and social value. Financial data for Caspian is not available.
About Bellwether Microfinance Fund:
The Bellwether Microfinance Fund is an onshore Indian venture fund that makes equity investments in microfinance institutions (MFIs). The fund invests in start-ups as well as established medium-sized nonprofit MFIs. The USD 20 million fund is independently managed by Caspian Advisors.
About India Financial Inclusion Fund:
The India Financial Inclusion Fund (IFIF) is based in Mauritius and focuses on equity investments in Indian microfinance institutions (MFIs) and related firms such as low-cost housing providers and microfinance technology companies. The fund is advised by Caspian Advisors Private Limited, an Indian investment management company that specializes in microfinance investment funds. IFIF also provides technical advice and risk capital. The USD 90 million fund was launched in August 2008.
Sources and Additional Resources
Live Mint and The Wall Street Journal Story: “Caspian Advisors Launches $40 million Social Investment Fund”
MicroCapital Story: “MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Equitas of India Receives $9.3m from MicroVentures, India Financial Inclusion Funds,” November 1, 2012.
MicroCapital Story: “MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bellwether Microfinance Fund, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation Sell Shares in Ujjivan of India to Lok Capital of Mauritius, Undisclosed Social Investor,” September 6, 2012.
MicroCapital Universe Profile: Bellwether Microfinance Fund
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