Grameen Capital India (GCI) has announced that Amit Patni and Arihant Patni have acquired a stake in the company from original investor IFMR Trust. The Patni's after exiting their software services exports company to iGate in a $1.2 billion deal have started Nirvana Venture Advisors, a venture capital fund with focus on the internet space in India.
GCI is a social investment bank that has facilitated more than Rs 700 crore of capital (about $127 million) to microfinance institutions and other social enterprises serving the base-of-the-pyramid segment, indirectly touching the lives of more than 1 million beneficiaries. Launched in 2008 in Mumbai, GCI operates in line with Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus’s social business principles, which say that “investors/owners can gradually recoup the money invested, but cannot take any dividend beyond that point. Purpose of the investment is purely to achieve one or more social objectives through the operation of the company, no personal gain is desired by the investors.”
The recent stake purchase by Amit and Arihant Patni, both entrepreneurs with strong interest in technology and early-stage investments, validates GCI’s approach, adding traction to its efforts in achieving its social goals, and demonstrating confidence in the growing domestic impact-investment culture, as well as acceptance by the local business community of the social business approach. GCI will continue to provide capital market access to microfinance institutions and other social enterprises through innovative debt and equity solutions, credit enhancement and strategic advisory services.
The purchase of IFMR Trust’s stake by the Patnis forms part of a strategic decision by GCI, as it seeks to build on its current advisory practice by adding critical vehicles to create a “Capital with a Conscience” ecosystem. The investment of the Patnis illustrates their enthusiasm to make GCI’s vision a reality.