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Friday, February 28, 2014

Matrix Partners invests in MSME lender Five Star Business Credits

Matrix Partners India has led the first institutional round of funding in Five Star Business Credits (Five Star), a leading small business finance company that provides secured loans to micro and small enterprise customers (MSME). Five Star with its proprietary secured lending model has catered to more than 5,000 MSME customers over the last 5 years.

India has 29.8 million MSMEs and a further 30 million MSMEs in the unorganised sector. Formal banking and financial channels find it challenging to address the needs of MSME customers primarily due to the challenges in assessing credit quality of such customers. 

According to D Lakshmipathy, Managing Director, Five Star, MSME lending is a significantly underserved market in India not addressed by formal financial channels. "We have built a unique credit assessment model for deserving customers that run small but healthy businesses and all our loans are collateral backed. This round of funding from Matrix should help us further expand our branch footprint and enhance our funding base for long term expansion,” said Lakshmipathy.

Operators of small shop owners (provision stores, small restaurants, textile stores, bakery outlets, medical stores etc), small and medium machine shop operators, self employed people etc are key customers of Five Star that also provides loans for the purpose of home improvement to MSME customers. The company is present across 30 branches in Tamil Nadu and is planning to further expand its footprint across different states in India.

“Five Star has a highly differentiated, secured and sustainable lending model to address the large, underserved MSME financing opportunity. Financial services is an important focus area for the firm. We share Lakshmipathy’s vision and passion for this sector and look forward to being his partners in this journey,” said Rishi Navani, Managing Director, Matrix India.

A private investment firm Matrix Partners has Rs 3,000 crore under management and invests in companies targeting the Indian consumer market at the seed, early and early growth stages. It has a global network of funds investing in the US, China and India with $3 billion under management.

So far, Matrix Partners has invested in several market leading companies including Muthoot Finance (gold loan NBFC), TreeHouse Education (preschools), Cloudnine (maternity and infant care chain), Mswipe (mobile POS), Verse/NewsHunt (vernacular mobile platform) and Quikr (online classifieds).

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