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Aye Finance mops up fresh debt capital from impact investor BlueOrchard
Photo Credit: VCCircle

Fintech lender Aye Finance, backed by multi-stage investor SAIF Partners and Google’s venture capital arm CapitalG, has raised Rs 107 crore ($15 million) in debt funding from Swiss impact investor BlueOrchard.

BlueOrchard has been investing in the company since May 2017 and has taken a total exposure to Rs 290 crore in the lender to small and medium-sized businesses, Aye Finance said in a statement.

Aye said it will use the fresh capital to extend customised loans to smaller businesses.

“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,” said Sanjay Sharma, managing and founder of Aye Finance.

BlueOrchard was founded in 2001, under an initiative of the United Nations, as the world’s first commercial manager of microfinance debt investments. It has invested more than $5 billion across 80 emerging and frontier markets.

Normunds Mizis, chief credit officer at BlueOrchard, said that India is an important market for the investment firm. “This additional funding is testament to our conviction in the company’s mission to bridge the gap between loans offered by MFIs (microfinance institutions) and those available from commercial banks, offering MSMEs across India access to attractive credit solutions.”

The transaction comes close on the heels of Aye Finance raising Rs 80 crore from one of India's leading banks in September this year. And last month, Dutch development bank FMO said it planned to invest Rs 125 crore in Aye Finance.

In the current year, Aye has raised about Rs 1,140 crore in debt and equity capital from investors such as CapitalG, Falcon Edge, HDFC, ICICI Bank and DCB Bank, apart from FMO and BlueOrchard.

This includes Aye Finance mobilising Rs 55 crore from DCB Bank and around Rs 253 crore in a round led by Falcon Edge Capital.

In January, Aye raised $10 million (Rs 71 crore) in debt funding from Swiss asset manager responsAbility Investments AG and homegrown company Northern Arc Capital.

In June last year, VCCircle reported that Aye had raised Rs 147 crore in a Series C round of funding from CapitalG, SAIF and LGT Impact Ventures to grow its business.

Since its inception in 2014, Aye has provided Rs 2,700 crore worth of credit to 1,96,000 grassroots businesses. It has a customer base of more than 1,30,000 and assets under management of Rs 1,500 crore.

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