OPIC, Calvert Foundation to Finance Varthana, Supporting Private Schools in India
Friday, March 11, 2016
In a ceremony held on February 17th in Bangalore, India, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. government’s development finance institution, and Calvert Foundation signed an agreement to finance Varthana, a lending institution that provides loans to affordable private schools in India, particularly those that serve low-income populations.
As part of this agreement, Calvert Foundation today announced an initial $5 million loan to Varthana, of which OPIC is guaranteeing $3.125 million. The parties hope to expand this relationship as Varthana continues its rapid growth. The partnership between the three organizations was solidified with the signing of an agreement between Steve Hardgrave, CEO of Varthana, James Polan, OPIC’s Vice President of Small and Medium Enterprise Finance, and Catherine Godschalk, Vice President of Investments at Calvert Foundation.
Varthana is an impact-minded lending institution that offers financing and support to schools throughout India, where low-income populations frequently lack access to reliable education. The schools Varthana supports are able to grow and extend quality, affordable education opportunities to hundreds of millions of school-aged Indians.
“We are honored to support India’s educators and are excited that Calvert Foundation and OPIC have supported our mission to help transform affordable education in India,” said Steve Hardgrave, Varthana’s Co-founder and CEO.
“We are thrilled to partner with OPIC and Varthana to support high quality, affordable education for millions of children in India,” said Catherine Godschalk, Vice President of Investments at Calvert Foundation. “This deal is part of our larger India Investment Initiative, which empowers the Indian diaspora and others in the U.S. to support India’s development while earning a return.”
“By engaging effective, impactful partners like Varthana and Calvert Foundation, OPIC’s development-focused capital can spark positive effects in emerging markets like India. Economic growth is most developmental when it reaches across the income spectrum, and Varthana’s education support ensures that opportunity in India can be a reality for low-income children,” said James Polan, OPIC’s Vice President for Small and Medium Enterprise Finance.
OPIC’s support to Varthana is a product of the Portfolio for Impact, an OPIC financing innovation designed to support highly-developmental impact investment projects that, due to size and structure, would otherwise face difficulty in obtaining financing.