Microfinance firm CreditAccess Grameen Ltd has raised $25 million (Rs 187 crore) in external commercial borrowings (ECB) from Sweden’s development finance institution Swedfund International AB, the company said.
The first tranche of $15 million was raised in July. The second tranche of $10 million is yet to be raised. This long-term funding will be utilised by CreditAccess Grameen to provide micro-loans to female borrowers from low-income households and increase their access to finance.
Northern Arc Capital acted as the exclusive arranger for this transaction.
This is CreditAccess Grameen’s first ESG (environmental, social, and (corporate) governance) fundraise, and the facility qualifies under the 2X Challenge that seeks to promote women entrepreneurship and leadership. The transaction has an agreed-upon ESG plan which will not only further CreditAccess Grameen’s ESG commitments but also support Swedfund’s sustainable investment vision, the company said.
“This forms the first foreign currency ECB for CreditAccess Grameen,” Udaya Kumar Hebbar, managing director and chief executive of CreditAccess Grameen, said.
He added such stable funding will support our growth over the coming months.
“We are delighted to partner with CreditAccess Grameen in this investment to promote improved financial inclusion for women in rural India, which is expected to contribute to Swedfund’s mission to fight poverty by investing in sustainable businesses,” Jane Niedra, head of financial inclusion at Swedfund, said.
“The transaction is proof of Northern Arc’s ability to partner with clients across the size and credit rating spectrum. The platform’s network effects and relationship with diverse investor segments help attract new investors to its asset classes and partners,” Bama Balakrishnan, operations chief of Northern Arc, said.