Indian microfinance fund receives $20m

The India Financial Inclusion Fund has raised $58m to date for a microfinance vehicle targeting total commitments of $100m.

Hyderabad-based Caspian Advisors has raised $20 million from four institutional investors for the India Financial Inclusion Fund, which is focused on making investments in the microfinance space.

The fund, targeting total commitments of $100 million, has raised $58 million thus far, PB Lakshmikant, manager for investment services at Caspian, said in an interview. He said the latest round of funding was provided by Responsibility Social Investment Services, a social investment platform sponsored by four Swiss banks; Dutch development agency FMO; Gray Ghost Microfinance Fund; and an unnamed US institutional investor.

UK government-backed fund of funds CDC had earlier committed $20 million to the fund, he added.

The India Financial Inclusion Fund is expected to see a final close by the end of 2009, Lakshmikant said. The fund has made five investments so far and has deployed $27 million. Its two most recent transactions have been investments in Equitas Micro Finance in Chennai and Shree Hari Fintrade in Udaipur, Rajasthan.

The firm also manages the Bellweather Microfinance Fund, which has commitments of about $20 million and is almost fully invested across 14 deals, Lakshmikant said.