Dell CEO Michael Dell and eBay founder Pierre Omidyar have invested Rs 28 crore in a Mumbai-based debt financing firm IntelleGrow.
For the 24-month-old non-banking financial company that had already swum into the attention of Michael and Susan Dell Foundation in February last year, this was the second tranche after it got the first one of Rs 10 crore, then. The company is unusual, as it invests in the social sector ventures and yet manages to make profit. It has funded around 60 start-up companies in the past eighteen months.
Promoted by investment banking services and advisory firm Intellectual Capital Advisory Services Pvt Ltd (Intellecap) and supported by the Shell Foundation, chief executive officer of the firm, Sanjib Jha, has no doubts where his growth model can take IntelleGrow to.
“The amount received by us are much less than our requirement and are an endorsement of our work,” Jha told The Indian Express. He is hopeful of increasing the loan book to Rs 500 crore, a ten times rise from its current Rs 50 crore size. Its website, of course, talks of only Rs 250 crore as a target by 2015.
Jha and Vineet Rai, the chairman of the company, believe in building scale and withdrawing fast from incubating ventures. The company claims that it prefers to fund first-generation entrepreneurs, but the key question, it says, is the extent to which the business idea will impact on the life of people in need.
The company has made investments in seven sectors — clean energy, agriculture supply chain, affordable healthcare, education, financial inclusion, vocational skills and innovative business. “We do not plan to limit ourselves to these sectors and are working to get into new sectors,” says Jha. The finance provider has invested in companies like Husk Power, which produces power from Husk, low-cost ATM manufacturer Vortex Engineering and low-cost hospital chain Vaatsalya Healthcare Solutions. IntelleGrow claims that they would prefer companies in rural areas over urban areas.
“While other financial institutions look at past record, we look at the future potential of the business ideas. We provide them funds and work with them like a partner with a condition that the repayment of finances would start as and when the company starts generating money,” he said.