Swadhaar raises $3 Million in first round of funding
Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Mumbai: Alternative finance industry goes through a tough time due to credit crunch crisis while microfinance institutions are still bullish on raising funds. Veena Mankar and Haseena Vahanvaty promoted Swadhaar, a Mumbai based microfinance institution has raised $3 million from Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, ACCION and Unit Equity Fund.

As a nonbanking finance company, Swadhaar provides microfinance services for the urban poor and micro entrepreneurs. Focusing on urban markets in India, the firm is aiming to serve over 100,000 clients.
ACCION, which started operation from South America has also been involved with some other MFI initiatives in India. ACCION established a strategic partnership with Yes Bank to launch Yes Sampann. It has also partnered with Grameen Koota in India.

Maria Otero, President and CEO of ACCION said, "Swadhaar has continually experimented with new technologies and products to lower transaction costs and better serve the needs of its clients. Our 20 percent investment is a symbol of our confidence that Swadhaar will continue
to serve its clients in new and beneficial ways."

Unitus Equity Fund also has invested in a number of MFI's in India including Hyderabad based SKS MicroFinance and Bangalore based Ujjivan Financial Services.The firm has recently made an investment of Rs.22 crore in Chennai-based Madura Micro Finance.