A year after Incofin India Progress Fund’s first investment in SuperZop, Incofin invested a second tranche in SuperZop. The amount of the second investment tranche, after the USD 1 million investment in 2021, is USD 2.7 million (INR 20 Cr).

This first year of investment was marked as a year of growth for our Indian partners, which confirmed Incofin’s trust and the trust of all the investors of the Incofin India Progress Fund to make this second investment.

🌱SuperZop has supported in a year time + 2,800 farmers by enabling market linkages, resulting in better prices.

🌱The company successfully expanded its presence in Surat, Nashik and Raighad.

🌱The monthly orders increased by 2.4x and the number of actively ordered stores tripled.

🌱SME retailers doubled on SuperZop’s platform

🌱SuperZop delivered more than 20,000 tons of safe and high-quality commodities.

🌱Various range of products was launched (+ 100 stock units), with 30% monthly growth in its own retail brand (Khetika) for agriculture products like nuts.

 

Mufin Green Finance announces its Series A funding from the Incofin India Progress Fund. Incofin invested about USD 5.7 million to enhance financial inclusion in the sector of electrical vehicles in India. Founded in 2016, Mufin Green Finance is the first first of its kind, a non-banking company providing financial services to companies of electrical vehicles. In that way, Mufin has reduced over 100,000 tonnes of carbon footprints.

Delighted to partner with Incofin, Kapil Garg, Co-founder and Director of Mufin Green commented: “This funding has put us in the forefront of an organised electrical vehicles financing sector. We are planning to disburse income-generating loans worth INR 5,000 Cr [almost 620 million euro] in the next 5 years, which will result in an overall reduction of 4 million tonnes of carbon emissions.”

Aditya Bhandari, Partner and Co-Head Asia of Incofin is proud of Incofin’s investment in Mufin: “This investment clearly aligns with our vision of financial inclusion and climate efforts. Mufin thrives on its diversified business model and strong balance sheet structure. Given Mufin’s strategic tie-ups with electrical vehicles ecosystem players, we firmly believe that the company will play a crucial role in boosting the importance of electrical transport in India and create a positive economic and environmental impact.” 

As far as Mufin’s financing products go, it currently consists of electric 2, 3, and 4-wheelers, as well as other elements of the EV ecosystem, including chargers, charging stations, batteries and battery top up loans for its customers.

As per Rajat Goyal, Co-founder of Mufin Green Finance, the market of electrical vehicles is fast evolving and there is a strong push from various stakeholders: “The investment from Incofin is a solid validation on our climate focused financing mission. We are focused on catering to the underserved or low-income segment and create a meaningful social and climate impact.”

The USD 25 million (INR 196 crore) funding round in Light Microfinance was led by British International Investment (BII) with existing investors Incofin, Nordic Microfinance Initiative and Triple Jump. Light Microfinance is one of the fastest growing MFIs in India and aims to provide responsible financial services for low-income families excluded from the financial system in India, using a strong technology platform. It reaches over 200,000 clients, exclusively women in rural and semi-urban areas.

Chauhan is one of those women. She has been a member of Light Microfinance for over five years. As the primary wage earner of a six-member family, she was in dire need of income augmentation. She didn’t start in cattle rearing, but with the first of her loans from Light Microfinance, she started vegetable farming. Eventually, her business acumen enabled Chauhan to expand. Her income increased and she has even planned to hire two employees.

This new funding will be used for geographical expansion into new states to diversify the company’s product lines and continued investments in technology and digital initiatives. Co-founder and Managing Director of Light Microfinance, Deepak Amin, comments: India continues to see a huge demand for financial services, especially in rural India as households try to recover from financial difficulties faced by them due to the pandemic and at the same time get integrated into the mainstream Indian economy. Light Microfinance aims to be a key pillar of this growth story by delivering timely, high-quality financial services to its customers.

Sahyadri Farms Post Harvest Care Limited raised Rs. 310Crs (almost EUR 40 million) growth capital from a group of impact-focused investors. Incofin, Korys, FMO and Proparco see Sahyadri Farms well-placed to help farmers run their businesses in a more profitable and sustainable way.

India is a country with an aspirational, young population (74% of the population is younger than 45 years) focused on enriching their lives through hard work and entrepreneurship. At the same time, the country faces challenges like inequality (gender, education, family wealth), outdated technology, inefficient supply chains, and a lack of access to capital. The country is witnessing a strong movement towards entrepreneurship to help solve these multidimensional problems the country faces.

Sahyadri Farms is a good example of rural entrepreneurship providing end to end solutions to small and marginal farmers.

In 2010 a group of 10 farmers took the initiative to collectively produce and export fresh grapes to Europe. That initiative has grown into the leading fruits and vegetable export and processing company that Sahyadri Farms is today, servicing over 18,000 farmers, covering more than 31,000 acres and 9 crops. The company walks with its farmers from their choice of crops to the farming practices they employ, from the inputs they use to how they harvest and sell their agricultural products. The company for example offers a digital platform that informs farmers on high yield crop varieties, farm inputs, real time climate information and access to the market place.

The economic and social impact of Sahyadri for these farmers is significant. Namdeo Pawar is one of them: “In 2012, I was on the verge of selling my land. Sahyadri supported me, helped me get back up, and I pushed myself to return to work. Trough Sahyadri, my income increased. In 2014, I even repaid my bank loan.” Also for farmer Anil Dawre working with Sahyadri Farms brought about a turnaround: “I farm on less than one acre, because a part of my land is taken up by my home and an animal shed. Group farming turned out to be a success. My parents never imagined their son’s produce would travel abroad. Their joy knows no bounds.”

The capital coming from Korys, FMO, Proparco and Incofin is intended to further grow the farmers company. Sahyadri Farms wants to expand its processing capacity for fruits and vegetables-based products, set up a biomass plant to generate electricity from process waste and enhance its infrastructure, like warehouses. These investments will in turn support rural entrepreneurs working in the Sahyadri network to help overcome local challenges and make agricultural farming a viable and sustainable business.

Vilas Shinde, founder of Sayhadri

“The idea of Sahyadri Farms is to unite farmers and make them think like professional entrepreneurs. We are building a sustainable, scalable, and profitable organization for all our stakeholders by making farming profitable and viable activity for each small and marginal farmer.”Vilas Shinde, founding farmer and Managing Director of Sahyadri Farms.

Alpen Capital acted as exclusive strategic advisor to Sahyadri Farms for this transaction.

Rahul Rai, Partner at Incofin India: “Incofin feels privileged to lead this investor consortium and for its partnership with Sahyadri Farms to support their spread as a global role model of a partnership-based approach to farming that results in sustainable financial impact, climate change adaptation and inclusive growth in rural communities while creating a technology-driven, globally competitive business.”

 

 

Incofin IM raises more than 50 million euros in a first investment round for its new impact fund focused on rural development and financial inclusion in India. The fund makes private equity investments in the Indian agri food value chain and in financial inclusion for rural entrepreneurs in India. The fund made its first investments in three growing enterprises. 

India as an impact investment destination holds great promise. It is a country with an aspirational, young population (86% of the population is younger than 55 years) focused on enriching their lives through hard work and entrepreneurship. At the same time, the country faces serious challenges like inequality (gender, education, family wealth) and a lack of technology,  organised supply chains, and access to capital. Although 65% of India’s population lives in rural areas, private equity investments have largely focused on urban companies. As a result, many budding entrepreneurs fail to realise their full potential.

The Incofin India Progress Fund (IPF),  wants to change this and supports these promising entrepreneurs to increase their chances of success through patient capital, mentoring and access to a global network. IPF will focus on two sectors which make the deepest social impact in the Indian context – financial inclusion and the agri-food value chain.

The committed capital comes from a diverse set of private and institutional investors including Korys, CDC, Proparco, the Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries (BIO), the SDG Frontier Fund, the King Baudouin Foundation and several Belgian family offices.

Agri Food Value Chain

Today, vegetables or grains often have to go through many intermediaries before they get from the producer to the store shelves. The long food chain leads to higher costs and generates significant food waste. There are plenty small agro-tech companies that can shorten the supply chain but they have difficulty accessing capital. The Incofin India Progress Fund intends to fill the gap. A more efficient supply chain with fewer handling points will also lead to more transparency and a reduction in food wastages.

The fund has made its first two investments in the young agro-technology companies Unnati (https://www.unnatiagri.com/) and SuperZop (http://www.superzop.com/).

Unnati is Hindi for “progress”. The company, founded in 2010, lives up to that name by guiding farmers through the entire agricultural process more easily using digital means.

This can range from providing quality seeds and other agricultural inputs at cheap prices, to advice on which inputs to use at a particular time, to how to protect their plants and maximize the production.

Through the uStore app, the farmer has access to a network of more than 11,000 points of sale – one of the largest networks of its kind in India. In this way, 4 million farmers find a market for sugar cane, maize , wheat, cotton, mustard and pulses.

SuperZop

 

Financial inclusion

According to the World Bank, in 2017, India still had some 190 million adults who did not even have a bank account. The only country with more people without access to financial services is China. India has made good progress in this area in recent years, but it is mainly entrepreneurs in rural areas who are finding themselves closed to reliable capital sources and financial services.

Entrepreneurs therefore often fall back on informal sources of credit, which greatly increases the cost and risk of financing. In rural India, 84% of the credit needs of independent traders and SMEs are met informally. Traditional banks are more interested in large loans and are not very keen on doing business with rural customers. Using their services in rural India is much more complex and expensive than in cities: in an environment where business is often done informally, it is not easy to be able to produce formal documents.

Namdev Finvest is the first entity in which the fund has invested to increase financial inclusion.

 

More about Incofin India Progress Fund

One of India’s leading staples agri-tech commerce platform SuperZop, has raised USD 4 million Series A funding from Incofin’s India Progress Fund. Thanks to the platform, ten thousands of small retailers and restaurants can buy staples directly from farmers and food processors, leading to a more efficient agri-food value chain.

SuperZop, founded by Raghuveer Allada, Prithwi Singh and Darshan Krishnamurthy, has developed the largest stapels agri-commerce platform for B2B customers. The company enables more than 20,000 retailers to directly source staples from farmers, multiple producer organisations and processors from 13 states across India.

SuperZop combines advanced technology with innovative business process and is using a vertically driven product understanding approach to build farm-tech brands with greater sourcing linkages of the back-end staples supply chain. Our Farm-tech staples brands have also been extremely well received as there is a huge whitespace in branded staples, even in large consumption categories such as rice, wheat, pulses, dry fruits” said Prithwi Singh, Co-Founder of SuperZop.

It is an incredibly interesting point in time for the Agri-tech landscape in India and we are excited to partner with the team at Incofin, which brings a lot of depth and expertise in Food & Agri. We have built the business in an extremely capital efficient manner and this investment from Incofin will help us scale up in existing and new geographies including Tier-1 cities, invest in technology and further expand the product offering within the category”, said Raghuveer Allada, Co-Founder of SuperZop.

SuperZop’s proprietary technology includes the ordering app, a logistics optimisation engine and other tools , like an application to evaluate the quality of commodities through an image and machine learning.

“We have developed right tools like an AI based quality assessment platform and logistics optimisation engine that works for the B2B staples category. One of the key areas of fund deployment will be to build on data science and enhance systems for greater scale”, said Darshan Krishnamurthy, Co-founder of SuperZop.

Rahul Rai, Partner of Incofin in India announces proudly the first agri-tech investment of the recently launched Incofin India Progress Fund:“We are delighted to partner with the high-performance founders of SuperZop who are making an impact by bringing MSME food processors and Kirana stores more closely integrated, thereby delivering value to both farmers and retail consumers. Incofin looks forward to supporting them as they execute on this unique Agri-Tech opportunity.

The India-focused fund of Incofin IM makes private equity investments in the Indian agri-food value chain and the financial inclusion sector. Incofin’s current investments in India include Sohan Lal Commodity Management, SAVE Solutions, Faircent, Light Microfinance and Namdev Finvest.