Tbilisi, 2 April 2019 – Crystal has closed an equity deal with international investment funds, managed by Developing World Markets (USA) and agRIF, managed by Incofin (Belgium). The company received an additional 10 million Georgian Lari (‘GEL’) as an equity investment.
The investment aims to support the implementation of the company’s new strategy, which entails Crystal’s transformation into the financial inclusion organization. This will be translated into the wide range of financial and non-financial services, tailored to the needs of micro and small entrepreneurs as well as farmers throughout Georgia
Archil Bakuradze, Chairman of Supervisory Board said: “Additional 10 million GEL from our American and European investors will bolster the company’s capital adequacy, allowing Crystal to improve its customer outreach, deepen it services acting as a platform for development for micro and small entrepreneurs. This transaction is another clear demonstration of trust from our international investors towards both Crystal and Georgia”.
“As Crystal’s first institutional equity investor, we are extremely pleased to support their continued growth and outreach to underserved micro and small entrepreneurs and smallholder farmers across Georgia,” says Aleem Remtula, Managing Director of Developing World Markets’ “DWM is committed to helping Crystal expand its service offering, innovate rapidly and become the preeminent responsible financial solutions provider to the country’s underbanked population. We are thrilled to partner with a team that has scaled from a micro-lending program initially serving internally displaced people to now setting the standard for transparent, inclusive and customer-centric financial services in the Caucasus market”.
“Incofin is a Belgian investment fund actively investing in financial institutions worldwide. We began working with Crystal by providing debt financing close to 10 years ago. It was clear from the very outset that the company had huge development potential and that is why we invested into its equity in 2016. Today, we further increased our equity investment as a clear sign of our strong confidence in Crystal”, said Jan Dewijngaert, Regional Director Eastern Europe and Central Asia of Belgian investment manager, Incofin
Crystal is Georgia’s leading non-bank financial institution, which manages 270 million GEL loan portfolio, has more than 1,000 employees, operates 62 regional branches and serves more than 100,000 unique clients across Georgia. Crystal acts as a platform for economic development of thousands of customers, providing them with innovative financial products and services tailored to their specific needs.
Crystal is the first Fitch-rated non-bank financial institution in the region to be assigned a ‘B’ Rating with a Stable Outlook. Crystal was recently awarded the nation’s Responsible Business award of 2018.
About Developing World Markets
As a pioneer in the field of impact investing for over two decades, DWM has invested or arranged $1.6 billion in financing for more than 200 socially positive companies across 60 emerging and frontier markets. Through its approach of seeking risk‐ adjusted returns and measurable social and environmental outcomes, DWM has partnered with some of world’s largest institutional investors and wealth managers to help address some of the most pressing challenges facing the developing world. The firm, founded in 1994, is headquartered in Stamford, CT, USA. DWM has been selected to the Impact Assets 50 list of fund managers for 2019.
Incofin Investment Management (www.incofin.com) is a global independent impact investment firm, focused on rural and agricultural finance, driven by a desire to promote inclusive progress. It is an AIFM licensed fund manager and has over USD 1 billion in assets under management. Incofin has a team of more than 50 professionals spread over the headquarters in Belgium and local investment teams in India, Colombia, Kenya and Cambodia.
Incofin currently manages the following funds:
- Rural Impulse Fund II (closed-end fund) invests in microfinance institutions that offer financial services in disadvantaged rural areas through debt and equity investments. RIF II focuses on investments in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
- agRIF is a third generation (closed-end) fund, making equity investments in financial inclusion for the rural sector (smallholder farmers and rural micro-entrepreneurs). agRIF also provides debt investments in agricultural SMEs and agricultural focused financial intermediaries.
- The Fairtrade Access Fund (evergreen fund) contributes to the development of a fair and sustainable agriculture sector by providing working capital and long term financing for small holder farmers. This evergreen fund is open to investors for commitments.
- Incofin CVSO (evergreen co-operative) specialises in debt and equity investments in the impact investments universe. It is a cooperative fund and open to retail investors.
As a leading impact investment firm, Incofin has invested (via equity and debt financing) over USD 2.1 billion in 257 microfinance/financial institutions across 53 countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean and Eastern Europe.