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IFIF to infuse capital into Sonata Finance

India Financial Inclusion Fund (“IFIF”) has affirmed its commitment to infuse capital into one of the microfinance industry’s pioneering bellwethers, Sonata Finance Private Limited (“Sonata”) in the near future. IFIF, set up in August 2008 and advised in India by Caspian Advisors Private Limited (“Caspian”), focuses on making equity investments into microfinance institutions and microfinance enablers in the country that are directly or indirectly associated with bringing about the financial inclusion of the poor and thus further developing a microfinance ecosystem. A microfinance institution (MFI) that commenced operations in January of 2006 in the eastern part of the Uttar Pradesh state in India, Sonata has in just three years, reached out to nearly 85,000 women clients, in more than 15 districts with a portfolio outstanding of over Rs. 42 crores in loans to the poor. [...]

Food service chain GFA mulls PE route to raise funds

Pizza Corner-owners Global Franchise Architects (GFA) is considering raising funds through private equity investment or through venture capitals as it looks to a 30-40 per cent compounded growth in the next three-four years. The food service chain, which also owns food service brands such as Pizza Corner, The Donut Baker, Coffee World and The Cream and Fudge Factory, is considering raising funds by the end of the year, said Joseph Cherian, Chief Executive Officer, GFA India, and MD, Global Services. He did not say how much funds the company plans to raise or how much of a stake it intends to offload. [...]