Investment Will Accelerate FINO's Growth Plan, Lead to Greater Efficiencies and Lower Costs for Microfinance Clients
Legatum, a private firm that invests in capital markets and in initiatives that support human and social development, announced today the completion of its investment, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Coronet Capital Limited, of INR 18 crore (US$4.5 million) in Financial Information Network and Operations Pvt. Ltd. ("FINO"). FINO is pioneering smart card technology and back office solutions which support microfinance institutions, banks, insurance companies and government institutions which serve the poor in India and globally. This investment will accelerate FINO's growth plans and enable it to play an important role in the transformation of the microfinance sector, leading to greater efficiencies and lower costs for borrowers.
FINO was founded in 2006 and is supported by several leading Indian banks. FINO designs and implements innovative technology solutions which enable financial service providers to reach the unbanked population of India, providing them with a broad range of financial products and services at a lower cost. The technology will be a key driver in ensuring that microfinance organisations can develop scalable and sustainable business models. Furthermore, as the technology is open to all of India's microfinance institutions, the collaborative adoption of a common platform will assist in creating India's first nationwide credit bureau for the microfinance industry.
Following upon the recent announcement of Legatum's landmark investment in SHARE Microfin Ltd., India's leading microfinance institution, this transaction represents another step forward in Legatum's strategy to support the transformation of the microfinance sector in India.
Commenting on the investment, Mr. Mark Stoleson, President of Legatum, said "FINO's smart card technology and back office support platform will enable the microfinance industry to scale rapidly and reach the 600 million people presently without access to credit and basic financial services. FINO aims to provide solutions which benefit all of India's microfinance institutions and the development of the sector. This inclusive approach will provide more accurate data and ultimately drive down the cost of capital for clients."
Mr. Manish Khera, CEO of FINO said, "FINO is delighted to partner with a successful global investor like Legatum. Legatum's investment in FINO is a strong display of confidence in our strategy and growth opportunities. Legatum is already a seasoned investor in the Indian financial services and banking sector, and its commitment to expanding investment in the microfinance sector in India aligns perfectly with FINO's strategy to serve the market. FINO's association with Legatum will enable the microfinance sector to streamline its offerings through our robust technology system and better meet the banking needs of microfinance providers and customers alike."