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Gojo & Comapny Buys 16% Stake In Aviom India Housing Finance for Rs 26 crore

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Gojo bought the shares in Aviom from Singapore-based venture capital firm Insitor Impact Asia Fund, which offloaded its entire holding in the mortgage lender.

Japan-based impact investor Gojo & Company is increasing its exposure in India’s financial inclusion space, with about Rs 130 crore of investments in the past few weeks into two local financiers to the bottom of the pyramid.

It has just bought about 16% in the Delhi-based startup Aviom India Housing Finance for about Rs 26 crore, raising its equity ownership to about 50%. Furthermore, it also injected an additional Rs 105 crore in Satya MicroCapital a little while back, people familiar with the matter said. 

Gojo bought the shares in Aviom from Singapore-based venture capital firm Insitor Impact Asia Fund, which offloaded its entire holding in the mortgage lender.

Unitus Capital advised Aviom and Insitor on the deal.

Earlier, Gojo had invested Rs 45 crore in Aviom in two tranches with the last being concluded in February.

“A majority of Gojo’s equity investment, targeted at supporting financial inclusion, has been in the Indian market and we will continue to support our partners to fuel their growth as and when required,” said Sanjay Gandhi, co-founder and chief investment officer at Gojo.

Its investment in microfinance firm Satya MicroCapital helped raise its stake to 37 per cent from 25 per cent earlier. 

Gojo’s exposure to Indian firms now stands at Rs 365 crore, out of its total investment of Rs 387 crore across four countries – Cambodia, India, Myanmar and, Sri Lanka.

Its India portfolio includes Ananya Finance for Inclusive Growth, a non-banking finance company set up by Friends of Women’s World Banking, and Loan Frame Technologies, a supply chain finance platform. 

Aviom, founded in 2016, is looking to grow its presence in six more states – Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. At present, the New Delhi-based lender has a Rs 260-crore portfolio through its 27 branches spread across Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana. It lends to women, with an average ticket size of Rs 2.5 lakh.

“We have not sought moratorium from our lending banks as we would like to have a clean record,” said Kajal Ilmi, Aviom founder and managing director. About 30% of its borrowers opted for the moratorium in May.

“Reverse migration to tier 2 and tier 3 towns will boost demand for micro loans. There will be a spurt in small entrepreneurial ventures in small town,” she said.

The Japanese investor raised the exposure in Aviom as its suits its investment focus.

“Gojo has been great through the process having stuck to the agreed terms even in the times of a pandemic. It goes to show their confidence in Team Aviom,” said Richa Natarajan, director at Unitus Capital.

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