[Funding alert] Aye Finance raises Rs 125 Cr from Dutch bank FMO

With this fundraising, Aye Finance plans to expand its outreach in providing credit, specifically to women-owned microenterprises in India.

Fintech startup Aye Finance on Wednesday said it had raised Rs 125 crore from Dutch entrepreneurial development bank FMO through issuance of non-convertible debentures.

With this fundraising, Aye plans to expand its outreach in providing credit, specifically to women-owned microenterprises in India, the company said in a statement.

"While we have women as co-applicants for over 95 percent of our loans, we believe we can do more in enabling women-led microenterprises of India bring about a more transformative impact on the economy," Aye Finance MD and Founder Sanjay Sharma said.

Under the deal, FMO will work with Aye Finance to expand their services to women entrepreneurs in the country through a gender finance programme.

"We expanded our branch network this year to Bihar, Jharkhand, Gujarat and Maharashtra, which have a prevalence of women entrepreneurship, and with these funds from FMO we will be supporting the growth of women-led enterprises in these states and in other 14 states where we have our presence," Sharma said.

The transaction was syndicated and executed by Chennai-based Northern Arc Capital, which invested in Aye Finance in January this year.

"The debentures issued by Aye are particularly interesting as the on-lending will be to micro entrepreneurs, of which half will be dedicated to women entrepreneurs in the financial inclusion area of underbanked end clients," Linda Broekhuizen, Chief Investment Officer, FMO said.

CapitalG, the growth equity investment fund of Google's parent company Alphabet Inc, has also invested Rs 115 crore in Aye Finance in 2018-19.

With the recent fundraising, Aye Finance's total funding has crossed Rs 2,200 crore comprising debt fund of over Rs 1,700 crore and equity investment of Rs 500 crore.

Aye Finance said it had "disbursed over Rs 2,500 crore to over 1,80,000 customers and had a loan book of Rs 1,430 crore" till date. 

(Edited by Teja Lele Desai)


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