You are here: Home » Companies » News
Business Standard

Elevar Capital, Omidyar Network lead funding to Varthana

Raghuvir Badrinath  |  Bangalore 

Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay, has made an investment in Bangalore-based Thirumeni Finance, which focuses on lending to schools catering to the low-income population. The investment was made through Omidyar Network and Elevar Capital, another social venture capital fund.

Thirumeni Finance operates under the brand name Varthana. With this funding ( of Rs 27 crore) from three funds, including from existing investor LGT Venture Philanthropy of Switzerland, the non-banking financial company will be able to leverage three times up to Rs 100 crore over the next 18 months to expand the lending operations. Varthana is also looking to raise an additional Rs 5 crore of equity from domestic investors in the coming months to bring the total Series-A round to Rs 32 crore.

Varthana is Elevar's first investment from its new fund - an investment that followed the incubation support it provided in 2012. LGT Venture Philanthropy added to its 2013 seed investment, a round that was also supported by Accion Venture Lab. This is Omidyar Network's first investment in the company.

Launched by Brajesh Mishra and Steve Hardgrave in 2013, Varthana provides loans to low-cost private schools and educational institutions, which serve India's 400 million student-age population. Loans are typically used to improve school quality and expand capacity.

"We are honoured to serve the incredible women and men who provide affordable, quality education to India's low and middle income families. Our goal is to support these education entrepreneurs as they continue to grow their institutions," said Steve Hardgrave, founder and CEO, Varthana.

Varthana has developed replicable sector-specific systems and processes, and currently serves more than 300 schools in Karnataka and Maharashtra, and the additional capital will allow it to extend its model to more than 15,000 schools throughout the country over the next four years.

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Thu, September 11 2014. 00:42 IST