Indian lender Caspian Debt secures $20m financing facility from DFC

Photo: Reuters

Hyderabad-based corporate lender Caspian Debt on Friday announced that it has received an investment of $20 million from the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) as long-term debt.

The new facility, which is a combination of subordinated and senior debt, will support Caspian Debt in providing customised, collateral free loans digitally to professionally managed enterprises operating in high impact sectors in India, including microfinance, SME finance, affordable housing, affordable healthcare, sustainable agribusiness and education, it said in a statement.

“We will use this funding to focus on promoting disruptive entrepreneurs, who are pushing the envelope for creating sustainable impact. This vote of trust from DFC is even more valuable at a time when the whole world, especially the small and medium companies, are dealing with the economic aftermath of a global pandemic,” said S. Viswanatha Prasad, founder and managing director of Caspian Debt.

Caspian Debt primarily works with first generation social entrepreneurs, who find it difficult to raise working capital as they run new-age businesses with an asset light model, and have no collateral to offer. The company claims to have lent over $219 million to over 140 early stage enterprises over the last seven years.

Caspian Debt said, it will also commit 33% of this debt facility to women-centric businesses and fulfilling its commitment to DFC’s 2X Women’s Initiative, which has catalysed over $2 billion of private sector investment in businesses and funds that empower women.

“Small businesses are the engine of growth and job creation in India, and high impact businesses are the vehicle for achieving a more responsible, sustainable and equitable economic future,” ” said Anthony Randazzo, CFA Investment Director on the Social Enterprise Finance Team at DFC.

He added that DFC approved first loan to Caspian Debt in 2014 when it was still an early stage venture. “This follow-on loan is an expression of confidence we place in the important work that Caspian Debt does and demonstrates our long-term commitment, particularly in these uncertain times.”

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.