SAIF Partners-backed AYE Finance gets $8 mn in debt funding
Photo Credit: Shah Junaid/VCCircle

Gurgaon-based AYE Finance Pvt. Ltd has raised $8 million (Rs 52 crore) from Swiss impact investment manager BlueOrchard, the non-banking financial company said in a statement on Thursday.

The company, which lends to micro and small enterprises, mopped up the funds through non-convertible debentures with a maturity of five years.

This is the first foreign debt fund that has lent to AYE Finance, although there are three-four banks as well as some NBFCs which are lending to it, founder Sanjay Sharma told VCCircle.

Last month, the company had secured a credit line of Rs 20 crore from State Bank of India.

The company will use most of the fresh capital for lending and part of it to upgrade its technology platform. It plans to disburse Rs 500 crore in loans this year and this financing is only a portion of that, he said.

AYE Finance was founded in 2014 by Sharma and Vikram Jetley, former executives at microfinance institution Ujjivan Financial Services. It provides working capital loans in the range of Rs 50,000 to Rs 25 lakh to micro and small enterprises. The company has lent Rs 150 crore till date.

“We are raising money aggressively because the business is growing at a much faster rate. We have served 18,000 customers till date, and adding around 2,500 customers every month,” Sharma said.

The company is looking to raise more money to meet its loan disbursement target and is in advanced stages of talks with two global development finance institutions. “They have already done due diligence and offered us term sheets. We will probably raise $6-8 million through them within a month or two,” Sharma said.

AYE Finance counts LGT Impact Ventures, SAIF Partners and Accion as its equity investors.

In November 2016, the company closed its Series B funding round at $10 million led by Zurich-based LGT Impact Ventures and existing investors SAIF and non-profit organisation Accion. In December 2015, the NBFC had secured around $3 million in follow-on investments from SAIF and Accion. The two investors had co-invested an undisclosed amount in the firm in February 2015.

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