SarvaGram Secures $35 Million to Expand Rural Reach and Upgrade Technology

SarvaGram, India’s first rural household focused platform, has secured $35 million in series C in a bid to expand rural reach and upgrade its technology offerings.

With this round, SarvaGram plans to expand its distribution network by adding 75 outlets, reaching a total of 125 by the end of 2024. The funds will also be used to hire tech talent and improve the company’s existing technology infrastructure in order to enhance business operations.

SarvaGram also aims to enhance its data analytics capabilities to improve customer experience and offerings and increase the customer base. The company, founded by rural banking veterans Utpal Isser and Sameer Mishra, currently operates in eight hubs and over 50 outlets across four states in India, serving more than 8,000 villages through over 250 franchise partners.

Founded by veteran rural bankers Utpal Isser and Sameer Mishra, SarvaGram built its proprietary tools which would be used to serve its target customers through its on-ground presence.

Headquartered in Mumbai, SarvaGram currently operates out of eight hubs, over 50+ outlets across four states, and has more than 250 franchise partners covering 8,000 odd villages.

“Sameer and I are extremely privileged and excited to on-board our new investors Temasek and TVS Capital Funds to SarvaGram, and are very thankful to Elevar Equity and Elevation Capital for their continued belief in us, our platform, and in the strength of India’s growing rural economy,” said Utpal Isser, Co-founder, MD, and CEO, SarvaGram.

SarvaGram focus on household-centric hypothesis

“Having successfully executed our household-centric hypothesis across tens of thousands of rural households, we now understand our customers much better. The fundraise will boost our mission of putting more power in the hands of rural households by enhancing our technology platform, strengthening the data analytics layer apart from growing our distribution and adding on-ground human capacity,” he added.

“Having partnered with several founders from scratch to help build scale in delivering essential services, we are most excited about the fact that SarvaGram is at the cusp of two critical trends. First, the inflection point in rural markets as demonstrated by growing economic activity and aspirations seen across rural households, and second, leveraging the entry point of financial services for a truly data led broader distribution strategy,” said Jyotsna Krishnan, Managing Partner, Elevar Equity.

“This round provides aligned growth capital to help the company execute to their scale ambitions after successfully demonstrating robust financial margins in the business model,” she added.

“We are delighted to double down on our partnership with Utpal, Sameer, and the SarvaGram team as they pioneer a household-focused approach to rural lending and distribution. Their lending offering is unique and creates the foundation to offer a range of solutions—unlike the urban salaried individual with a payslip, assessing income for a rural borrower is tricky—given multiple income streams, variability in agricultural earnings, and limited paper trails,” said Mridul Arora, Partner, Elevation Capital.

“While collateral may be available, the documentation is non-standardised. Consequently, the 150M household-strong rural market is underserved by banks and large NBFCs—a clear whitespace addressed by SarvaGram. We are impressed by the team’s strong execution in a tough environment, scaling to Rs 275 crore AUM, while maintaining tight credit quality and approaching profitability,” he said.

The new funding was led by Elevar Equity. Elevation Capital, Temasek, and TVS Capital Funds also participated in the funding round.

In February 2021, the company had raised $10 million in Series B led by Elevation Capital and Elevar Equity. With this funding round, SarvaGram plans to expand its distribution network by adding 75 more outlets to reach 125 by the end of FY 2024.

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