The Infosys co-founder made the investment through his family office Entrust some months ago.
BENGALURU: Billionaire and Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani has put in about $25 million in a real estate non-banking finance company (NBFC) unit of KKR India, one of the local arms of private equity giant KKR & Co, according to people familiar with the matter.
The Infosys co-founder made the investment through his family office Entrust some months ago. KKR’s real estate unit has been actively providing structured credit solutions to stressed but fundamentally strong companies in the past 18 months. Nilekani and KKR didn’t respond to emailed queries at the time of going to press.
With Nilekani’s participation, the equity corpus of the NBFC unit has gone up to $250 million. It had earlier received bigger equity infusions from GIC of Singapore ($110 million) and US-based Townsend Group ($75 million). These NBFCs have gathered momentum in the last few years as property developers find it difficult to borrow from banks due to a prolonged slump in the sector.
Nilekani, who is credited with building the world’s largest identity database in record time, has also invested in startups such as Mubble, a company that helps smartphone users track their spending on calls, research company Tracxn, and Drishti, an eyecare chain to provide affordable treatment in underserved markets, among others.
Recently, the KKR unit invested Rs 300 crore in two residential projects of developer Puranik Builders in Pune and also put in Rs 145 crore in Mantri Developers in Bengaluru.
The NBFC is KKR’s second lending arm in India. The first one, engaged in conventional lending business, was started with an equity capital base of Rs 1,500 crore. Since 2009, KKR has extended more than $2 billion of structured financing to 21 business groups in the country through its credit and capital markets business.