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FINO eyes $20m in private equity

The ICICI Group-incubated Financial Information Network Operation (FINO) is about to close its first round of fundraising, worth about $20 million, by the end of month. Besides International Finance Corp (IFC), the private-equity arm of World Bank, a clutch of more investors are also expected to invest in the company.

“IFC has already announced its investment in our company. At this point we cannot disclose the other investors. By the end of the month we would be ready to make an announcement,” chief operating officer Rishi Gupta told DNA Money.

FINO has been set up with an objective to provide core banking solutions to agencies like micro-financial institutions, co-operative banks and banks catering to the low-income households. It also provides automated banking, government transfer services and other financial services to the un-banked and under-banked population in rural India through a biometrics based authenticated personal card solution.

Currently, along with the ICICI group, a couple of other domestic banks like Union Bank, have also provided the seed capital. Along with IFC, three more investors would put in money, taking the total number of shareholders to 10 from six.

“Post our capital expansion, our equity would be one-third held each by foreign investors, public sector and private sector,” Gupta said.

The proceeds will be used to finance its capital expenditure plans worth Rs 100-150 crore over the next 18 months.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday FINO and 3i Infotech came together to provide financial services through the low-cost delivery channels using Common Services Centres (CSC). 3i, which has won e-governance services contract from Karnatka and Haryana, would use FINO to provide financial services.

As part of the project, 3i is setting up 800 CSCs in Karnatka and 200 in Haryana.

These CSCs provide a host of government services like land records, registration of birth, issuance of caste certificates, etc.

Now, financial services too would be provided through these centres.

Source : DNA India

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