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Certus Capital to invest Rs 1,000-Cr in real estate through secured credit

Certus Capital, an institutional real estate investment and advisory firm, plans to invest Rs 1,000 crore in the Indian real estate sector through secured credit in the next year, according to a company executive. 

The firm, founded by former KKR director Ashish Khandelia, has invested close to Rs 400 crores through its secured bond platform, Earnnest.me. They expect to close the year with total investments surpassing Rs 500 crore. 

Since its inception in 2018, Certus Capital has guided institutional investors in Indian real estate investments totaling nearly Rs 10,000 crore. Now, the focus is on their platform, which was initiated two years ago.

“We believe it is imperative for India to develop its bond markets to achieve the true potential of our economy. And it is even more important for capital-intensive sectors such as real estate. Through Earnnest, Certus Capital is playing the role of a market maker for real estate debt capital markets,” Khandelia said.

Certus Capital recently invested Rs 130 crore in two Pune-based commercial real estate projects by realty developer Mittal Brothers through its secured bonds platform. 

This investment, in the form of secured debentures, is projected to yield approximately 15% fixed returns with substantial principal cover from underlying cash flows. The combined revenue potential of both projects is estimated at Rs 800 crore.

The first project, located on Fergusson College Road and spanning 260,000 sq ft, is well underway. Certus is providing last-mile funding for this project, which has garnered substantial sales and leasing interest. Nearly 80% of the space is already sold or leased, with operational retail levels featuring brands like Pantaloons, McDonald’s, Max, and Nonna’s pizza chain.

The second project on Bundgarden Road covers an acre of land with a development potential of 300,000 sq ft. This represents an early-stage investment aimed at supporting land-related activities and approvals.

“The deal pipeline is strong and the property market is performing well across segments, propping up confidence in the sector. The latest investment in Pune is in line with our aim to invest Rs 500 crore in the current financial year,” Khandelia said.

In January, Earnnest.me successfully exited its debut investment in the affordable housing sector, achieving a net return of 16.1% – a year earlier than the scheduled maturity. The robust performance of the project facilitated this early exit.

The platform has strengthened its presence in Mumbai’s Prabhadevi by acquiring the remaining 50% stake in a premium boutique residential project from realty developer EON Group. Additionally, Earnnest.me has reinvested in a residential project in Chennai, leveraging its exclusive deal access.

Earnnest.me is committed to democratizing access to high-quality investment opportunities, making them financially accessible for individuals, and contributing to increased returns with a focus on risk mitigation.

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