Sequoia Invests in SKS Microfinance

By SiliconIndia   |   Thursday, 29 March 2007, 05:00 Hrs
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Bangalore: SKS Microfinance, a microfinance institution (MFI), announced its latest equity investment of US $11.5 million (50.6 crores) with Sequoia Capital as its lead investor. Other investors include Unitus Equity Fund, Vinod Khosla, Ravi Reddy, Odyssey Capital, and—from a previous round—SIDBI. The funds will provide the stimulus that SKS needs to achieve its ambitious goal to provide financial services to over 5 million poor families by 2010.

Sequoia Capital has in the past invested in companies like Google, Yahoo!, and You Tube among others. SKS has an outreach of nearly 600,000 women borrowers in 7,200 villages in 11 states of India. In the last year alone, SKS grew by nearly 160 percent and has disbursed nearly 700 crores with a 99 percent on-time repayment rate.

Speaking on the announcement, Vikram Akula, Founder & CEO, SKS Microfinance said, "Today SKS has created a model whereby leading global private equity firms like Sequoia feel confident in channeling capital to the hands of the poor. This is significant because it will encourage more commercial capital to come into microfinance and that will ultimately enable greater financial inclusion for India’s 400 million poor people."

Sumir Chaddha, Managing Director, Sequoia Capital India said: "It is wonderful to be an investor in an enterprise that not only makes economic sense but also helps empower the people across our nation. We look forward to working with them in enabling them to become the leading microfinance company in the world."

"Unitus is proud to be involved in what will be seen as a watershed moment in the world of microfinance," said Chris Brookfield, Director, Unitus Equity Fund.

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