The announcement comes close on the heels of the the Gurgaon-based lender raising $3 million debt funding from State Bank of India. Prior to that in November last year it had raised $10 million (Rs 70 Crore) in Series B equity round led by LGT Impact Ventures, SAIF Partners and Accion.
Founded by professional bankers Sanjay Sharma and Vikram Jetley in 2014, Aye Finance, which serves MSME sector through a network of 39 branches. It provides loans between Rs 50,000 and Rs 25 lakh to micro and small enterprises.
“Aye Finance distinguishes itself by utilizing technology in mitigating the challenges faced by MSMEs in securing loans. By deploying a cloud-computing architecture and data science methods to derive insights about each of our industry clusters, we are able to bring down the cost of delivery and offer credit solutions at affordable rates to the micro and small enterprises,” said Sanjay Sharma, Managing Director, Aye Finance.
“These additional funds from Blue Orchard will be utilised to further strengthen our funding position and allow us to facilitate the inclusion of a larger number of micro and small businesses in the realm of mainstream economy,” he added.
Swiss investor Blue Orchard was founded in 2001 by initiative of the UN as the first commercial manager of microfinance debt investments worldwide. They offer premium investment solutions to qualified investors and provide debt and equity financing to institutions in emerging and frontier markets.
In 2015, Blue Orchard had also invested $8 million through NCDs in Delhi-based mircolender SV Creditline Ltd.
Financial services space continues to be an attractive bet for investors, especially the ones targeting the underserved smaller businesses and economically weaker sections of the society.
Last month, International Finance Corp proposed to invest upto $100 million to Mumbai-headquartered NBFC Fullerton India Credit Company Ltd (FICCL), a unit of Temasek Holdings. In March, IFC also extended a $20 million to Guwahati-based RGVN (North East) Microfinance Ltd in the form of a senior debt investment.