India: Aye Finance raises around $7m from Netherlands’ Triodos Investment

Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint

Aye Finance, a Gurugram-based small business loan provider, Thursday said it has raised close to $7 million (Rs44crore) in debt financing from global impact investment manager Triodos Investment Management of the Netherlands.

Triodos Investment Management manages investment funds in sectors such as energy and climate, inclusive finance and sustainable food and agriculture, with a total value of €3.3 billion.

Aye Finance plans to use the funds to increase its asset book and bolster expansion plans, the company said in a statement.

“We have, in the last three years, impacted an ecosystem of over one lakh families through our business enterprise loans and these additional funds will bring us one step closer to our vision to impact over one crore households by 2020,” said Sanjay Sharma, co-founder and managing director, Aye Finance.

Incorporated in 2014, Aye Finance is a non-banking finance company that provides mortgage, hypothecation and term loan services to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). It has around 72 branches across 10 states.

The funds were raised by issuing non-convertible debentures. Chennai-based financial services firm IFMR Capital facilitated the fundraise. IFMR Capital connects businesses such as micro lenders, affordable housing financiers, lenders to small businesses, agricultural finance companies and vehicle financiers, with investors in debt capital markets.

“We have seen a shift in offshore institutions focusing more on the MSME space in recent years. Impact investors prefer institutions lending to MSME customers given the outcome in terms of livelihoods, wealth generation and economic development. Also underlying loans are often backed by collateral/assets/income and are perceived to be better quality credit in comparison to unsecured loans in the same space,” said Kshama Fernandes, chief executive officer of IFMR Capital.

This is the second foreign investment deal facilitated by IFMR Capital for Aye Finance. In May, IFMR Capital helped Aye Finance raise Rs80 crore from impact investment firm Blue Orchard.

This article was first published on LiveMint.com

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. 
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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.