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Varthana raises $2.5 Mn from Symbiotics Investments to improve access to quality education in India

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BENGALURU, India, Aug. 31, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Varthana, the largest affordable school loan company headquartered in Bengaluru, India has raised INR 207,000,000 (USD 2.5 million) for an education-focused social bond from Symbiotics Investments. Varthana finances affordable private schools and students with affordable school and student loans, customized to enable schools and students to unlock their full potential.

Following the issuance of this education-focused social bond, Varthana will be able to support more affordable private schools in rural and semi-urban regions of India. It will do this by providing these schools financing for equipment purchases and construction and refurbishment of the facilities. This also showcases Varthana’s ability to align with the internationally accepted International Capital Market Association Social Bond Principles, ‘ICMA SBP’, increasing the attraction of international financiers.

The social projects that will be financed are represented by loans for primary and secondary schools as well as student loans for vocational training.

“The low-budget schools in which we invest are counting on inclusive financial services to get back on the growth path following the unprecedented challenges faced during the pandemic. We are thankful to Symbiotics for their support, which enhances Varthana’s ability to play a constructive role in helping with the post-COVID-19 recovery and ongoing improvement of schools throughout the country,” said Steve Hardgrave, Co-founder & Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Varthana Finance.

“With this education-focused bond, Symbiotics Investments opens the door for international investors to contribute to the expansion of the education sector in India and directly invest in the future generation of this vibrant country,” said Prashant Bhardwaj, Symbiotics Investments Regional Manager South Asia.

This education-focused bond was issued via Symbiotics’ sponsored bond issuance platform (Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises Bonds S.A.) under its Sustainable Bond Framework, which was certified in December 2019 and November 2021 by DNV GL. The bond is listed on the Securities Official List of the Luxembourg Stock Exchange and displayed on the Luxembourg Green Exchange.

Link to: Sustainable Bond Framework for Symbiotics


Varthana is a pioneer in the affordable education sector, headquartered in Bengaluru. It is the largest school focused Non-Banking Finance Company (NBFC) in India. Established in 2013, the organization has a presence in 15 states, through 40 branches and 150 spokes. Varthana aims to transform affordable education in India by catering to the needs of affordable private schools through financial assistance and academic support. It is also committed to serving domestic students attending college, technical training/short-term courses, and postgraduate studies by providing them with loans to continue education. Varthana aims to make education accessible to over 10 million students by 2025.


Symbiotics is the leading market access platform for impact investing, dedicated to private markets in emerging and frontier economies. The group offers investment, asset management and capacity building services. Since 2005, Symbiotics Investments has originated over 7,500 investments representing more than USD 9.4 billion for 575 companies in 95 countries.


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