India: Microfinance lender Aye secures $4.6m debt funding from BlueOrchard

Aye Finance
Aye Finance provides loans to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in India. Photo: Company website

Aye Finance, a Gurgaon-based SME lender, has raised Rs 30 crore ($4.6 million) in debt funding from Swiss impact investor BlueOrchard Finance Ltd.

According to an official statement, the latest capital infusion will help Aye Finance further diversify its lending portfolio and reach out to more micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in India.

This is not the first instance of BlueOrchard investing in Aye. It had first backed the company in May 2017, when the MSME lender raised Rs 27 crore. Since then BlueOrchard has invested more than Rs 100 crore in Aye, it said.

In February this year, the financial services firm had also raised Rs 25 crore through a securitization deal from investors including Hinduja Leyland Finance and Intellegrow. The deal was facilitated by Vivriti Capital.

As part of a series of fundraising activities, Aye Finance has also secured Rs 40 crore ($6.3 million) as term loan from IFMR Capital in January. That announcement had come on the heels of the financial services company raising Rs 32 crore ($4.9 million) debt funding from Geneva-based development finance institution Symbiotics Group.

Prior to that, in September 2017, Aye Finance had raised close to $7 million (Rs 44 crore) in debt financing from global impact investment manager Triodos Investment Management of the Netherlands.

Founded in 2014 by Sanjay Sharma and Vikram Jetley, Aye Finance is a non-banking finance company that provides mortgage, hypothecation and term loan services to MSMEs. It has 72 branches currently in 10 states across India. It claims to have disbursed 40,000 loans in FY17-18.

Aye is equity funded by three venture capital funds – Accion International, SAIF Partners and LGT Impact Ventures.

“We are going to utilize the latest infusion of funds to increase our reach to bring the “missing middle” into the folds of organised lending,” said Sanjay Sharma, Managing Director and Founder, Aye Finance.

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