Investment-focused non-banking finance company BlackSoil Capital has completed Rs 260 crore of debt financing transactions involving 20 deals across diverse segments like realty, start-ups and unlisted growth firms, and exited four investments during the first year of its operations. Promoted by Allcargo chairman Shashikiran Shetty, Gnanesh Gala of Navneet Education and city-based realty expert Virendra Gala, BlackSoil was launched last August and it invests Rs 15-25 crore in a firm for 6 months to 3 years. BlackSoil is into structured lending some of which is fully secured lending or backed by a cash flow escrow account as collateral and does not offer retail credit. It specialises in offering customised debt solutions creating a mutually beneficial situation for all. “These 20 deals are worth Rs 260 crore. When we started FY18 our net loan book was Rs 170 crore which is now over Rs 200 while the total loan book is Rs 400 crore,” Ankur Bansal, a director at BlackSoil, told PTI.
During the first four months of FY18, BlackSoil executed investments worth Rs 100 crore through nine deals. It has also raised Rs 45 crore in debt from its extensive HNI network through NCDs, it said. During this period, the NBFC has invested over Rs 160 crore across 10 real estate deals, mostly in Mumbai, in developers such as Ariisto, Tridhaatu, Ahuja and Magnum, among others. “With the Rera in place, players like us now have multiple interesting high yield opportunities as developers would be compelled to complete their projects in a time bound manner,” said Gala, one of the promoters of the NBFC. Another fast-growing vertical is venture debt where the NBFC is currently working with start-ups which are mostly SAAS-product companies or asset light businesses operating in the offline space.
Most start-up portfolio companies that BlackSoil has lent to have already raised on an average USD 10 million from marquee VCs and has so far deployed over Rs 50 crore in seven start-ups like NearBuy, Knowlarity, Chumbak and iNurture, among others. “Venture debt is relatively a new asset class in our country and with rising funding crunch in series B/C rounds, demand for our kind of venture debt which acts as bridge finance between rounds is rapidly increasing,” Bansal said. “We are carefully building our deal pipeline to grow multi-fold annually but in a strong risk adjusted framework,” said BlackSoil founder Mohinder Pal Bansal.