Advent International and Multiples to invest $230M in Ananya Birla’s Svatantra Microfin, which marks the largest private equity investment in India in the sector

Mumbai, 4th March, 2024 – Founded and chaired by Ms. Ananya Birla, Svatantra Microfin Pvt. Ltd. (“Svatantra”) has entered into a definitive agreement with Advent International (“Advent”), one of the world’s largest and most experienced private equity investors, and Multiples Private Equity (“Multiples”), India’s leading private equity investor, for an investment of $230M. This deal marks the largest investment by private equity investors in the microfinance sector in India.

The investment follows Svatantra’s recent acquisition of Chaitanya India Fin Credit Limited (“Chaitanya”). Upon completion of the proposed transaction and merger with Chaitanya, the combined entity will be amongst the largest non-banking microfinance companies in India. The current promoter group led by Ms. Ananya Birla will continue to have a significant majority stake.

Since starting its operations in 2013, Svatantra, which provides affordable financial and non-financial solutions to women entrepreneurs, has emerged as one of the most differentiated process and technology-driven microfinance entity in India. Svatantra, along with its wholly owned subsidiary, Chaitanya, today has a team of more than 17,000 employees and the business serves over 4.2 million customers across 20+ states.

Ananya Birla, Chairperson, Svatantra, said, “This investment by Advent and Multiples marks a momentous occasion for us. My team and I are grateful to have investors on board who share our vision. This transformative era for Svatantra, propels us towards our goal of becoming the foremost and most impactful microfinance institution, creating a conducive environment for entrepreneurs who fuel India’s growth story.”

Shweta Jalan, Managing Partner, Advent International, said, “We are thrilled to announce Advent’s investment in Svatantra. We believe the microfinance sector serves as a cornerstone for financial inclusion for women entrepreneurs in rural areas, and Svatantra is uniquely placed to create one of the largest and most resilient microfinance institutions. We look forward to supporting the team at Svatantra, led by Ms. Birla, as they embark on their next phase of sustainable growth and profitability.”

“We are delighted to back Ms. Ananya Birla in building Svatantra to be the best-in-class institution delivering inclusion at scale. Its recent acquisition of Chaitanya brings together two exceptional platforms and management teams. In line with Multiples’ ethos of powering new possibilities, we look forward to partnering the Svatantra team in its journey of expanding products, stepping-up technology and enhancing analytics to widen the reach of its transformational impact,” said Renuka Ramnath, Founder, MD and CEO, Multiples.

The transaction is subject to receipt of statutory and regulatory approvals, including the approval of the Reserve Bank of India and Competition Commission of India.

Advent has been investing in India since 2007. Since inception, Advent has committed ~$6 billion across 18 investments, of which $1.2 billion has been committed in the financial services across 6 transactions sector including the current transaction. Key investments in the sector include Yes Bank (sixth largest Private Sector Bank), Aditya Birla Capital (a holding company for the financial services businesses of Aditya Birla Group), KreditBee (leading digital lending company), ASK Investment Managers Private Limited (a leading portfolio management service provider, real estate investment manager and wealth manager in India), and CAMS (India’s largest registrar and transfer agent of mutual funds). Other notable investments by Advent in India include Cohance Lifesciences (formerly RA Chem Pharma Limited), Eureka Forbes, Bharat Serums and Vaccines, DFM Foods and Manjushree Technopack.

Multiples has a strong financial services investing track-record with on-ground experience of business building through economic cycles over the last decade. Its investments in the sector include Cholamandalam Finance (India’s most valuable CV financier), Vastu (a tech-led, high-quality housing finance business), Veritas Finance (a leading MSME financier), Kogta Financial (an emerging leader in used vehicle financing), APAC Financial Services (an MSME financier with deep rural footprint), Acko Tech (India’s first and only D2C insurer), Niyo (a leading consumer fintech), IEX (India’s largest power exchange), RBL Bank (a private bank) and Sanctum (a wealth management company).

About Svatantra Microfin Private Limited

Svatantra was incorporated in 2012 by Ms. Ananya Birla. It started its operations in March 2013. In a short span Svatantra has emerged as the most differentiated process and technology-driven microfinance entity, which offers microcredit at affordable rates in the country. Svatantra has been a first mover and shaper of the industry by being the first MFI with 100% cashless disbursements since inception, and also the first to roll out an extensive customer facing app that is conducive to client social behaviours. The AA- graded organization (highest rating in the sector) was awarded the best microfinance organization of the year and has been placed in the top 25 best places to work in its segment by globally recognized Great Places To Work (2020 and 2022). In one of the largest deals in the industry, Ananya Birla’s Svatantra acquired Chaitanya India Fin Credit, making Svatantra the second largest microfinance organization in the industry. With a team strength of over 17,000 and an AUM of over 13,000 Crores, Svatantra is financing the entrepreneurs who are powering India’s growth story.

About Advent International

Founded in 1984, Advent International is one of the largest and most experienced global private equity investors. The firm has invested in over 417 private equity investments across more than 40 countries and regions, and as of December 31, 2023, had $88 billion in assets under management. With 15 offices in 12 countries, Advent has established a globally integrated team of over 297 private equity investment professionals across North America, Europe, Latin America, and Asia. The firm focuses on investments in five core sectors, including business and financial services; health care; industrial; retail, consumer, and leisure; and technology. For 40 years, Advent has been dedicated to international investing and remains committed to partnering with management teams to deliver sustained revenue and earnings growth for its portfolio companies.

About Multiples Private Equity

Multiples is India’s leading private equity platform distinguished by its long and successful experience of partnering with Indian entrepreneurs. Multiples has backed 30 Indian businesses to build aspirational, distinctive, and responsible businesses. Multiples focuses on core sectors of financial services, pharma & healthcare, consumer and technology. Some of Multiples’ distinctive investment partnerships include Vastu Housing Finance, Encube, Zenex, PVR, Delhivery, Dream Sports, Quantiphi, Kogta Financial, ACKO, Niyo, Licious and MoEngage. Multiples identifies opportunities that benefit from big shifts in its chosen sectors, and partners with exceptional entrepreneurs and management teams in creating transformational growth.

Media contacts

Kausar Merchant
Tel: +91 9820525800

Advent International
Chennakeshav Shenoy
Tel: +91 98192 66998

Multiples Private Equity
Yash Dhotre
Tel: +91 7776064449

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