SarvaGram is building India’s first household centric, data-science led ‘high-tech high-touch’ distribution platform providing a bouquet of financial and productivity-enhancing offerings to meet the growing aspirations of rural India. SarvaGram announced today that it has secured $10.5 million in a Series B equity investment round led by Elevation Capital (formerly SAIF Partners) along with pro-rata participation from existing investor Elevar Equity. This marks the second high-profile institutional investment in the start-up in just two years of its existence. The current round is a reflection of its unique service delivery model and tapping into an emerging and highly underserved market opportunity.
This funding will be utilized to further strengthenSarvaGram’s technology platform, expand its reach into new geographies and launch new offerings.
Co-founded by veteran rural bankers UtpalIsser and Sameer Mishra, SarvaGramattempts to marry the on-ground presence with enabling technology to better identify and serve its target customers. SarvaGram has developed and deployed proprietary tools, including scorecards for various customer segments to automate its lending decision.
Utpal Isser, Co-Founder and CEO of SarvaGram said, “We are delighted to have two highly discerning private equity investors as our partners in this journey to create unique financial and productivity-enhancing solutions for the emerging middle-classes in rural India, a journey which really starts from recognizing that the needs of this aspirational, productive segment of rural economy are specific and need bespoke attention and solutions to further aid their growth.”
SarvaGram has an in-depth understanding of rural households’ ground realities and specific insights into their balance sheets and multiple income streams. Consequently, SarvaGram can assess households as cohesive economic units factoring in community dynamics.
During the challenging environment posed by Covid-19, SarvaGram worked with its households to promote the use of digital payments to minimize the health impact of its customers and team members.
Jyotsna Krishnan, Managing Partner, Elevar Equity said, “The massive opportunity that rural India presents is well known, however, building and scaling distribution in the rural context requires a deep understanding of these markets and of rural households. It has been great to see how Utpal and Sameer have leveraged their deep experience in rural financial services to design a platform that taps into household-level data &insights and built a distribution business that has proven robust even through the pandemic.”
Mridul Arora, Managing Director, Elevation Capital said, “Utpal and Sameer bring an intimate understanding of the rural market and the rural customer. The team’s customer-centric ethos, ground-up product thinking, and combination of high touch and tech are truly distinctive. We deeply resonate with SarvaGram’s mission to build a household-focused lender catering to the aspirations of rural India and are excited to be partners on their journey.”
Elevar Equity has been at the forefront of impact investing since 2006. The Elevar Method of investing has democratized essential products and services for over 30 million low-income households in India and Latin America, by investing early growth capital in entrepreneurs and businesses that demonstrate a direct correlation between high impact and returns.
Elevation Capital(formerly SAIF Partners) is an early-stage investor, with $2 billion under management across consumer internet, financial services, logistics, enterprise SaaS, consumer brands and B2B services. Since 2001, the team has been an early partner to over 100 companies to date, including several category-defining players such as Paytm, Swiggy, Urban Company, ShareChat, Meesho, NoBroker, Spinny, Acko, NSE and Aye Finance.