Bangalore-based BPO Vindhya e-Infomedia (Vindhya) has successfully raised venture funding from two leading socially-committed investors, ACCION International and the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. Unitus Capital was the sole advisor to Vindhya for the transaction. Vindhya’s customer base primarily comprises of info-tech and microfinance companies to whom the company offers data management and processing solutions from its state-of-the-art center in Bangalore. However, the key differentiator for Vindhya is the fact that their employee base is largely comprised of people with disabilities. The organization has been recruiting, training and employing differently-abled people since inception in 2006.
Currently, nearly 90% of the employees are physically disabled and also lack access to economic and other opportunities. “Having firmly established processes and key client relationships, we are seeing multi-fold increase in business from our existing clients and also new business opportunities, making it imperative for us to increase our scale to match that of our clients.” stated Ashok Giri, Founder & CEO of Vindhya. “The funds currently raised by the company are for capital-expansion and to fund growth as we aggressively ramp-up operations in the medium term.” Giri added.
“Endorsement by renowned investors such as ACCION and the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation is a validation of our faith in the unique business model that we have put together – one that provides respectable white-collared employment opportunities to people with disabilities, while not compromising on the delivery standards that clients have come to expect from Indian IT/ITES majors,” said Pavithra Y S, Chairman and founder of Vindhya.
ACCION is making the investment through its Frontier Investments Group, an early-stage equity fund that invests in breakthrough technologies and disruptive business models that can powerfully enhance the reach and scope of financial inclusion.
Monica Brand, fund manager for ACCION’s Frontier Investments Group said, “Dedicated business process outsourcing companies like Vindhya are critical to reducing fragmentation and high cost, both of which have kept microfinance out of reach for poorer segments. In addition, Vindhya’s creative approach to leveraging the skill set of the differently-abled is an inspiring example of the innovation Frontier is trying to foster in the microfinance and social enterprise sectors.
“Vindhya has demonstrated its ability to scale, acquire larger and higher value businesses, and manage its staffing and training functions while growing to meet market needs,” said Geeta Goel, Porfolio Director, Microfinance at the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. “As we expand our interest in the sector, we believe Vindhya presents an excellent opportunity to back a sustainable and scalable organization focused on improving livelihoods, and it fits very well with our strategy. It is a truly unique social venture and a true double bottom-line business.”
"Vindhya is a pioneering social business with a deep rooted passion to provide employment opportunities to a neglected section of the society. Their work is of the highest quality and is truly life-changing for most of their employees. We are proud to have advised Vindhya and delighted that socially committed, long term investors like ACCION and the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation have again shown their leadership,” stated Eric Savage, Co-Founder & President, Unitus Capital.
About Vindhya e-Infomedia:
Vindhya e-Infomedia, based in Bangalore, is a business process outsourcing company (BPO), employing people who are differently-abled. Vindhya transforms the lives of its employees by providing them with employable skills that allow them to engage in the paid workforce. Vindhya delivers high quality services that comprise loan application processing, document management, online services, end user services, data processing. For more information, visit www.vindhyainfo.com
About ACCION International:
ACCION International is a private, nonprofit organization with the mission of giving people the financial tools they need—microenterprise loans, business training and other financial services—to help work their way out of poverty. A world pioneer in microfinance, ACCION was founded in 1961 and issued its first microloan in 1973 in Brazil. Over time, ACCION has helped build 62 microfinance institutions in 31 countries on four continents. Those institutions are currently reaching millions of clients. In the United States, the U.S. ACCION Network is the largest microfinance lending network in the country and has served tens of thousands of clients with over $275 million in loans since the inception of its pilot program in 1991. For more information, visit www.accion.org .
About Michael & Susan Dell Foundation:
The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation (www.msdf.org) is dedicated to improving the lives of children living in urban poverty around the world. With offices in Austin, TX, Cape Town, South Africa and New Delhi, India, the Dell family foundation funds programs that foster high-quality public education and childhood health, and improve the economic stability of families living in poverty. The foundation has committed more than $700 million to global children's issues and community initiatives to date.
About Unitus Capital:
Unitus Capital is a financial services firm specializing in arranging capital for companies benefiting those at the bottom of the economic pyramid in sectors including microfinance, renewable energy, health care and education. With operations in Bangalore, Beijing, London, Singapore and Sydney, Unitus Capital delivers a range of financial advisory and capital market services to clients across Asia. For more information, visit www.unituscapital.com
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