[Funding alert] Aye Finance raises Rs 107 Cr in debt funding from Swiss-based BlueOrchard
This is the sixth time BlueOrchard has invested in the fintech startup since May 2017, taking its investment to Rs 290 crore. The company will use the funding to extend affordable and customised credit solutions to the base-of-the-pyramid businesses in India.
Fintech lending startup Aye Finance, previously backed by Capital G, has raised Rs 107 crore in debt funding from Swiss-based impact investor BlueOrchard. BlueOrchard has been supporting the startup since May 2017and has taken a total exposure of Rs 290 crore in the MSME lender.
Aye Finance will use this latest round of funding to extend affordable and customised credit solutions to the base-of-the-pyramid businesses of India and power their growth into the new age.
While the NBFC sector has been struggling to raise adequate funds for online lending, Aye Finance says it remains unaffected and continues to draw interest from both Indian and global investors. Last month the fintech lender was in news when it announced a fundraise of Rs 125 crore from Dutch Development Bank FMO.
In the current year, Aye Finance has raised over Rs 1,140 crores in debt and equity from leading names including CapitalG, Falcon Edge, HDFC, ICICI, DCB Bank, FMO, and BlueOrchard.
Since its inception in 2014, Aye Finance claims that it has provided Rs 2700 crore worth of credit to over 1,96,000 grassroots businesses, with an active customer base of over 1,30,000 and assets under management of Rs 1,500 crores. This year, the lender expanded its reach to micro-enterprises in 18 states in India, and 173 cities.
Commenting on the fundraise, Sanjay Sharma, MD and Founder of Aye Finance, said,
"This is the sixth round of funds we have received from BlueOrchard and I believe this demonstrates their comfort with and commitment to our business. Lending to micro enterprises has been a less travelled path for banks and financial companies and hence it is satisfying to have established an innovative paradigm of our lending approach. Aye team has demonstrated the robustness of our cluster based lending approach having enabled the inclusion of close to 2 lac micro enterprises using this approach."
Founded in 2001 and initiative of the United Nations, BlueOrchard is a global impact investment manager dedicated to fostering inclusive and climate-smart growth. It is also the world's first commercial manager of micro-finance debt investments. Today, the company provides premium investment solutions like credit, private equity, sustainable infrastructure, and debt financing and equity financing.
With a major global presence and offices in four continents, BlueOrchard has invested to date more than $5 billion across 80 emerging and frontier markets, enabling tangible social and environmental impact.
Normunds Mizis, Chief credit officer at BlueOrchard said,
"India is an important market for BlueOrchard, and one that we have been actively investing in for almost 20 years. We have been working with Aye Finance since 2017. This additional funding is testament to our conviction in the company’s mission to bridge the gap between loans offered by MFIs and those available from commercial banks, offering MSMEs across India access to attractive credit solutions."
(Edited by Teja Lele Desai)