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MSME-focused Arthan Finance nets $2.5mn in Dell Foundation-led round
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Micro, small and medium enterprise-focused fintech platform Arthan Finance has secured $2.5 million (around Rs 18 crore) in an equity investment round led by Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, the company said in a statement.  

The round also saw participation from existing angel investors, including Sunil Gulati, board member and Strategic Advisor to many well-known start-ups and Ajit Ranade, Chief Economist at Aditya Birla Group, among others, the statement said.  

“The fundraise will help us in expanding our reach, strengthen our technology with artificial intelligence- machine learning underwriting capabilities, enabling us to create a seamless customer experience. Over the next three years, the company aims to disburse over Rs 1,000 crore to over 50,000 borrowers,” said Kunal Mehta, Co-founder and Executive Director, Arthan Finance. 

Arthan Finance is co-founded by Mehta, Pravash Dash and Gowrisankara Rao Alamanda. 

Before launching Arthan, Dash was leading the micro-enterprise finance segment at Yes Bank. Mehta was heading the Inclusive Finance Institutions segment at RBL Bank, and Alamanda was instrumental in building partnerships and setting up distribution channels using the business correspondence model at RBL FinServe. 

The startup provides growth capital to self-employed micro and small enterprises in tier II and tier III cities. 

It has a unique hybrid distribution channel offering customised products through smart branches, partnerships and supply chain finance. Currently, Arthan is present in more than 20 states and has disbursed over 10,000 loans ranging from Rs 2,000 to Rs 20 lakh. The company has raised over $ 5 million (around Rs 36 crore) from nine lenders, including two banks, the statement said. 

Unitus Capital was the exclusive financial advisor to Arthan Finance, and Positron Advisors to Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. 

Michael & Susan Dell Foundation in India is focused on providing opportunities in education and employment to children and youth from low-income communities. It invests in education, jobs and livelihood, and financial inclusion. The foundation has invested over $200 million (around Rs 1478 crore) over the past 15 years. 

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