This investment was made when British International Investment was named CDC Group.
In 2019 we led the funding round for Indifi Technologies (Indifi), a digital lender providing loans to micro and small businesses in India. We invested $15 million in a $21 million fundraise in 2019 and made a follow-on investment in 2021.
Improved economic opportunities by increased access to formal SME finance for small businesses in India, some of which have never had access to credit before, allowing them to sustainably participate in the economy and scale their business (SDG 8.10)
Through improved access to finance, SMEs will be able to manage their liquidity and grow. In India only 5 per cent of SMEs have access to formal credit. Evidence shows that liquidity management is critical to investment and growth, and smaller businesses benefit from flexible terms and smaller amounts.
|Employees/informal workers and business owners||
SMEs focus on sectors including food and retail/e-commerce. They are small, self-owned businesses that generally borrow between $4,000-7,000 at a time. These enterprises can have limited data on their credit risk and therefore are usually more difficult to serve.
Over the next five years, Indifi will increase the proportion of its assets under management in working capital loans, which will allow SMEs to access shorter, more flexible loans.
Depth is expected to continue to be deep for the new to formal credit customers. The impact of access to financial services will continue beyond the life of our investment.
To help us direct our investments, we use a tool called the Development Impact Grid. The Grid scores every investment we plan out of a score of four, based on two factors: the difficulty of investing in the country and whether investment in that sector will lead to jobs.
Financial: Capital is unavailable on the same terms from other investors.
External: The original impact targets from our first investment may not be achieved due to derailed growth trajectory caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Both original and updated cases will continue to be monitored in portfolio management. There are no current mitigants, and this risk will have to be tolerated.
CDC's investment will support Indifi increase its lending by a multifold over the next five years. Access to growth finance for micro and small businesses remains a challenge in India, large parts of the country remain underserved. Growth finance is key to helping these businesses flourish and subsequently local economies and communities will benefit. Additionally, it indirectly helps to create family income, helping them to provide financial support over many generations.
Environmental and social aspects
We are working with the client on activities beyond environmental and social (E&S) action plan compliance, including supporting Indifi on improving efficiency of E&S screening, due diligence and their ESG aspirations.
Since 2012, we’ve only invested in Africa and South Asia. Investments outside these regions are from our pre-2012 portfolio.
- South Asia
We have seven priority sectors. However, we continue to invest outside these sectors, largely in the most challenging regions, as new investment supporting any sector helps to underpin the private sector, and create jobs and livelihoods for people.
- Financial services
- Investment type
We provide capital in three broad ways: direct equity, debt, and intermediated equity (principally through investment funds).
- Direct Equity
- Start date
For direct investments, this is the date British International Investment committed capital to the business or project.
For funds, this is the date that British International Investment committed capital to the fund.
For underlying fund investments, this is the date that the fund invested capital into the business.e
- July 2019
For direct investments, this is the total amount that British International Investment has committed to the business or project (it may be a combination of equity and debt).
For funds, this is the total amount that British International Investment has committed to the fund.
This is the investee company’s place of incorporation; or a fund’s jurisdiction.