~ Paving the Way for Affordable Educational Across India ~

BENGALURU, India, March 19, 2024 -- In a significant development for the education finance landscape in India, Varthana Finance, a leading Non-Banking Finance Company (NBFC) that provides loans to affordable private schools and students to pursue higher education, today announced the successful completion of its acquisition of Indian School Finance Company's (ISFC) School Portfolio.

This transaction marks a pivotal turn in the sector representing a meaningful passing of the torch from ISFC to Varthana, echoing a legacy of commitment and a vision for the future of affordable education in India.

This acquisition unites the top players' dedication in serving India's 400,000 private schools while strategically expanding their reach and impact to a wider network of educational institutes. The involvement of Varthana's founders in ISFC's launch and early years transcends the conventional business transaction, adding significant depth to the collaboration. This sale signifies a heartfelt exchange of stewardship, with Varthana poised to carry forward ISFC's mission of enhancing affordable education development in India.

Commenting on the acquisition Steve Hardgrave, CEO & Co-founder of Varthana, says, "Taking the ISFC portfolio under Varthana's wing is another significant step in our journey to ensure that India's schools are well supported to deliver quality education to the country's 350 million young people. It is particularly special that our relationship with ISFC has come full circle, and we are honoured to take that legacy forward. We also know how uniquely committed Bob is to invest in new and impactful ideas. We are thrilled to play a small role in helping to recycle this catalytic capital toward the next generation of pioneering initiatives that require support to take flight."

Central to this transaction is the pivotal role played by Bob Pattillo, founder of Gray Matters Capital, a US 501 c(3) foundation that is focused on impact investing. Recognizing the early need for specialized financing for affordable private schools in India, he founded ISFC in 2009, Bob has also influenced the establishment of school finance banks globally. Today, school finance in the affordable school segment serves as a catalytic force for developing quality education in low-income communities.

Reflecting on the sale Bob Pattillo says, "The combining of ISFC's rich legacy with Varthana will multiply what can be achieved in the realm of education finance in India, ensuring that future generations can access the education they merit. It fills me with great pride that through ISFC, we have supported 5 million children from low-income families over 15 years, sparking a movement that has led mainstream commercial lenders to recognize the value of this segment. Our foundation's mission is accomplished, and while ISFC has navigated successfully through the trials of COVID, our choice reflects our considered judgment of what will serve the best interests of the families with kids in these schools. This sale signifies more than a transaction; it's a demonstration not only how capital can be transformative when aligned with a market need, driven individuals, and a clear vision but also when to pass on the torch to others who are best suited to carry the mission forward."

Sandeep Wirkhare, ISFC CEO, adds,"This may be an exemplary transaction where an impact institution helps create a product segment, stabilize and hands over a growth baton to the most like-minded institution to continue customer and employee relationship."  

This sale is not just an exchange of assets; it represents a heartfelt transfer of stewardship, with Varthana well-positioned to carry forward ISFC's mission of advancing affordable education development in India. The combined strengths and shared dedication of both entities set the stage for a promising future, ultimately contributing to the enhancement of the educational landscape in the country.

About Varthana Finance Private Limited

Varthana is a pioneer in the affordable education sector, headquartered in Bengaluru. It is the largest education Non-Banking Finance Company (NBFC) in India. Established in 2013, the organization has a presence in 16 states and union territories, 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.

For more information, please visit https://varthana.com/

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