Utkarsh Microfinance

South Asia Financial services

Based in Uttar Pradesh, Utkarsh is a small finance bank which provides financial services to the under-served low-income rural and urban population in north and east India.

It started operating back in September 2009, and provides group loans, micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) loans, housing loans and savings accounts to the unbanked population in its heartland.

  • Active
  • Exited

This investment was made under a previous strategy. We disclose information on all our current investments, but narrative information on our pre-2012 investments, when we introduced a new strategy, may be limited.

Aavishkaar Goodwell India Microfinance Development Company II Limited

We are invested in Utkarsh Microfinance through Aavishkaar Goodwell India Microfinance Development Company II Limited, which is managed by Aavishkaar Goodwell. For further information on the fund, the fund manager, and the expected impact of the fund’s investment, click here.

Key facts

Status:
Active
Region

Since 2012, we’ve only invested in Africa and South Asia. Investments outside these regions are from our pre-2012 portfolio.

:
South Asia
Countries:
India
Sector

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
Website:
https://www.utkarsh.bank/
Investment type

We provide capital in three broad ways: direct equity, debt, and intermediated equity (principally through investment funds).

:
Intermediated investment
Fund:
Aavishkaar Goodwell India Microfinance Development Company II Limited
Fund Manager:
Aavishkaar Goodwell
Start date

For direct investments, this is the date CDC committed capital to the business or project.

For funds, this is the date that CDC committed capital to the fund.

For underlying fund investments, this is the date that the fund invested capital into the business.e

:
June 2011
Domicile

This is the investee company’s place of incorporation; or a fund’s jurisdiction.

:
India

Our investment

In late 2014, CDC made an $11 million direct equity investment in the institution. The funding was used as growth capital to increase Utkarsh’s customer reach, product range and to help it expand into other services including micro-enterprise loans.

In November 2016, Utkarsh received a licence to become a small finance bank enabling it to offer a wider range of banking services to the poor and low-income population. CDC invested $22.1 million of Tier 2 debt in Utkarsh to support the launch of its banking operations.

In November 2017, we invested a further $3 million of equity to support the company following economic disruption caused by the demonetisation of certain banknotes in the country.

Other key investors include the International Finance Corporation and Aavishkaar Goodwell.

Expected impact

Utkarsh's core business lies with group loans to under-served individuals. Its current client base includes 1.3 million active microfinance borrowers, who are mainly women.

These small groups of four to 10 women, usually based in rural areas, are offered loans ranging in size from $100 to $420 to support small-scale business growth and farming. This, in turn, delivers wider economic benefits to their families and local communities.

Following its transformation into a bank, Utkarsh now also offers a savings channel and other important financial services (such as insurance) for its previously unbanked clients.

Environmental and social aspects

CDC took an active role in developing Utkarsh’s environmental and social policies, helping the institution implement a code of conduct and join the Smart Campaign for responsible lending among micro-finance institutions.

Key facts

Status:
Active
Region

Since 2012, we’ve only invested in Africa and South Asia. Investments outside these regions are from our pre-2012 portfolio.

:
South Asia
Countries:
India
Sector

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
Website:
https://www.utkarsh.bank/
Investment type

We provide capital in three broad ways: direct equity, debt, and intermediated equity (principally through investment funds).

:
Direct Equity, Direct Debt
Start date

For direct investments, this is the date CDC committed capital to the business or project.

For funds, this is the date that CDC committed capital to the fund.

For underlying fund investments, this is the date that the fund invested capital into the business.e

:
December 2014
Amount

For direct investments, this is the total amount that CDC has committed to the business or project (it may be a combination of equity and debt).

For funds, this is the total amount that CDC has committed to the fund.

:
$36.6m
Domicile

This is the investee company’s place of incorporation; or a fund’s jurisdiction.

:
India

Sarva Capital LLC (Formerly Lok II)

We are invested in Utkarsh Microfinance through Sarva Capital LLC (Formerly Lok II), which is managed by Lok Capital. For further information on the fund, the fund manager, and the expected impact of the fund’s investment, click here.

Key facts

Status:
Active
Region

Since 2012, we’ve only invested in Africa and South Asia. Investments outside these regions are from our pre-2012 portfolio.

:
South Asia
Countries:
India
Sector

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
Website:
https://www.utkarsh.bank/
Investment type

We provide capital in three broad ways: direct equity, debt, and intermediated equity (principally through investment funds).

:
Intermediated investment
Fund:
Sarva Capital LLC (Formerly Lok II)
Fund Manager:
Lok Capital
Start date

For direct investments, this is the date CDC committed capital to the business or project.

For funds, this is the date that CDC committed capital to the fund.

For underlying fund investments, this is the date that the fund invested capital into the business.e

:
December 2014
Domicile

This is the investee company’s place of incorporation; or a fund’s jurisdiction.

:
India

Growth Catalyst Partners

We are invested in Utkarsh Microfinance through Growth Catalyst Partners, which is managed by Lok Capital. For further information on the fund, the fund manager, and the expected impact of the fund’s investment, click here.

Key facts

Status:
Active
Region

Since 2012, we’ve only invested in Africa and South Asia. Investments outside these regions are from our pre-2012 portfolio.

:
South Asia
Countries:
India
Sector

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
Website:
https://www.utkarsh.bank/
Investment type

We provide capital in three broad ways: direct equity, debt, and intermediated equity (principally through investment funds).

:
Intermediated investment
Fund:
Growth Catalyst Partners
Fund Manager:
Lok Capital
Start date

For direct investments, this is the date CDC committed capital to the business or project.

For funds, this is the date that CDC committed capital to the fund.

For underlying fund investments, this is the date that the fund invested capital into the business.e

:
September 2016
Domicile

This is the investee company’s place of incorporation; or a fund’s jurisdiction.

:
India

Faering Capital Fund III

We are invested in Utkarsh Microfinance through Faering Capital Fund III, which is managed by Faering Capital Advisors. For further information on the fund, the fund manager, and the expected impact of the fund’s investment, click here.

Key facts

Status:
Active
Region

Since 2012, we’ve only invested in Africa and South Asia. Investments outside these regions are from our pre-2012 portfolio.

:
South Asia
Countries:
India
Sector

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
Website:
https://www.utkarsh.bank/
Investment type

We provide capital in three broad ways: direct equity, debt, and intermediated equity (principally through investment funds).

:
Intermediated investment
Fund:
Faering Capital Fund III
Fund Manager:
Faering Capital Advisors
Start date

For direct investments, this is the date CDC committed capital to the business or project.

For funds, this is the date that CDC committed capital to the fund.

For underlying fund investments, this is the date that the fund invested capital into the business.e

:
October 2017
Domicile

This is the investee company’s place of incorporation; or a fund’s jurisdiction.

:
India

Aavishkaar Emerging India Fund

We are invested in Utkarsh Microfinance through Aavishkaar Emerging India Fund, which is managed by Aavishkaar Venture Management Services. For further information on the fund, the fund manager, and the expected impact of the fund’s investment, click here.

Key facts

Status:
Active
Region

Since 2012, we’ve only invested in Africa and South Asia. Investments outside these regions are from our pre-2012 portfolio.

:
South Asia
Countries:
India
Sector

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
Website:
https://www.utkarsh.bank/
Investment type

We provide capital in three broad ways: direct equity, debt, and intermediated equity (principally through investment funds).

:
Intermediated investment
Fund:
Aavishkaar Emerging India Fund
Fund Manager:
Aavishkaar Venture Management Services
Start date

For direct investments, this is the date CDC committed capital to the business or project.

For funds, this is the date that CDC committed capital to the fund.

For underlying fund investments, this is the date that the fund invested capital into the business.e

:
November 2017
Domicile

This is the investee company’s place of incorporation; or a fund’s jurisdiction.

:
India