The Blackstone Group, announced Thursday an investment of Rs 150 Crores (approximately US $ 33 million) in FINO Limited (FINO) for a significant minority stake. FINO is a pioneer in providing integrated technology solutions and physical network to enable financial inclusion in India.
FINO is a channel with enabling technology platform for an end–to-end sourcing & servicing of micro customers in rural India on scale across a range of basic financial products and services.
FINO works with most of the leading banks in the country across a comprehensive product suite – savings bank accounts, recurring deposits, loan products, remittances, insurance products, government subsidies disbursement, among others. The Company has enrolled more than 35 million customers and plans to double its customer base in the next couple of years.
Mr. Manish Khera, Chief Executive Officer, FINO Limited, said the Company has done well and the outlook is even stronger with Government focus of using Business Correspondent channel for cash subsidies and RBI’s drive to achieve total financial inclusion.
FINO is a pioneer in the financial inclusion space and it plans to extensively leverage Blackstone’s global expertise of scaling up and transforming businesses, said Khera.
Mr. Rishi Gupta, Chief Financial Officer, FINO limited, noted that with Blackstone joining FINO shareholder group and the Board, FINO looks forward to more exciting time ahead and hope to contribute even better and bigger to the financial inclusion initiative.
The funds that FINO raised will primarily be utilized towards funding overall growth of the company and to meet long term capital requirements, said Gupta.
Mr. Akhil Gupta, Chairman and Managing Director of Blackstone Advisors India Private Limited, noted that India has a significantly high number of financially excluded households – more than 100 Million, with an exclusion rate of over 50%. The exclusion is much more prevalent in the rural areas.
For sustainable and inclusive growth, India needs to extend basic utilities like financial services to the excluded population. As a dominant market leader, FINO is uniquely positioned to capitalize on this opportunity, said Akhil Gupta.
While growing at almost 100% CAGR in the last few years, FINO has demonstrated conviction and commitment to changing India’s rural banking landscape, he added.
FINO is headquartered in Mumbai and employs over 2500 employees and 20000 business correspondent agents spread across 239 offices. With over 35 million customer base across 300 districts across 24 states, FINO delivers financial products and services including banking, insurance & remittances in the first and last mile.