SBICAP Ventures launches SME and Affordable Housing Funds

Mumbai, November 19, 2018

SBICAP Ventures Limited (SVL), an alternative asset manager and a wholly owned subsidiary of SBI Capital Markets Limited, after the success of the Neev Fund, announced the launch of its SME and Affordable Housing Funds, on the occasion of the Neev Fund portfolio day today.
While the gap in debt funding to SMEs is increasingly being bridged by NBFCs, there continues to be a significant gap in the equity funding for the sector despite the steep growth rate, a press release from SBICAP Ventures said.
"The SME landscape is expected to grow rapidly over the next few years and as per IFC, it is estimated to account for over 40% of the GDP by 2020. Bridging the equity gap in the SME sector is therefore crucial for the overall economic development of the country and hence SVL’s launch of the SME Fund," it said.
According to the release, in the housing industry, SBI is already the largest provider of home loans from the banking sector. Further, it has provided significant loan funding for construction of housing projects and through its step-down subsidiary SVL, is now launching a private equity fund for providing a stimulus to improving the availability of affordable housing in India. 
In the initial phase, the focus of the fund will be in eight cities of the country which are amongst the most active real estate markets in India, it said.
Ms. Varsha Purandare, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, SBI Capital Markets Limited says, “With these two new funds, we are looking forward to strengthening our foothold in the economically and socially relevant sectors. These funds shall be an effective tool in addressing the equity gap in the SME sector and in improving the availability of affordable housing in India."
Neev Fund was launched in 2015 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his then British counterpart David Cameron with an intent to be the country’s first fund focused on the low-income states in India for small infrastructure projects. 
"This day marks the successful three year run of SVL’s Neev Fund. Over the last three years, Neev Fund has demonstrated prowess on integrating the ESG (Environment, Social, Governance) framework within the investee companies, setting the tone for the emergence of a new-normal where companies are embracing the tenets of accountability and social equity," the release added.
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