Aye Finance, a provider of loans to small businesses, on Monday said it has raised $21.5 million (₹145.2 crore) in its Series C round led by CapitalG, the venture capital fund owned by Alphabet Inc.
Existing investors SAIF Partners and LGT also participated in the new round.
Proceeds of the funding will be used to invest in Aye Finance’s business operations and technology. Till date, the Gurugram-based firm has raised more than ₹200 crore from venture capital firms, and an additional ₹500 crore from debt and equity funds.
Founded in 2014 by Sanjay Sharma and Vikram Jetley, Aye Finance is a non-banking financial company (NBFC) that provides mortgage, hypothecation, and term loan services to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). It has 72 branches in 10 states across India.
The company focuses on solving the funding-related problems of micro-enterprises that traditionally rely only on informal sources of financing such as individual money lenders and chit funds. Aye Finance claims to use data analytics to keep operating costs low and to overcome inadequate documentation of their borrowers.
Till date, Aye Finance has disbursed more than ₹500 crore to 60,000 small and medium businesses. It also claims to have around ₹350 crore in assets under management (AUM).
“CapitalG’s access to Google expertise in scaling businesses using analytics and technology will strongly supplement our approach. We intend to cover the large unaddressed MSME finance market that other finance providers have found difficult to service,” said Sanjay Sharma, managing director, Aye Finance in a statement.
According to Kaushik Anand, India head of CapitalG, MSMEs form the backbone of the Indian economy since they contribute a large portion of its GDP; however, they lack access to formal credit.
“Over the last few years, Aye has proven that their model is one of the most efficient ways to deliver credit to underserved MSMEs across industry clusters. We look forward to working with Aye and helping them use technology to address under-penetrated segments of the MSME credit market,” added Anand.
This article was first published on livemint.com.