Myanmar MFI Alliance gets $5m from Asia Impact Investment Fund, return backers

Photo: Alliance for Microfinance in Myanmar Ltd.

Alliance for Microfinance in Myanmar Ltd, a Mandalay-based deposit taking microfinance institution, has received an equity injection of $5 million from their existing shareholders and new investor, Asia Impact Investment Fund (AIIF), the company announced.

The transaction was concluded in August.

Alliance started its operations in Myanmar in 2014 providing financial services and education to low-income households focusing on women entrepreneurs.

“The new investment will strengthen our capital base and ensure the continued expansion, outreach and development of our service portfolio,” said Kim Guenkel, CEO of Alliance, in a statement.

Existing shareholders, Base of Pyramid Asia (BOPA), a Singapore-based equity investor in microfinance institutions, Danish Investment Fund for Developing Countries (IFU), Copenhagen head-quartered self-governing state fund, Insitor Impact Fund of Insitor Management, an impact investment firm specializing in equity, debt and mezzanine financing, participated in the latest investment round.

New shareholder, Asia Impact Investment Fund I, is a joint collaboration between UOB Venture Management Pte Ltd, a subsidiary of United Overseas Bank Limited, and the Singapore branch of Credit Suisse AG.

“Through microfinancing and financial education, Alliance Myanmar has been helping to reduce poverty in the less privileged communities in Myanmar,” said Thng Tien Tat, executive director of UOB Venture Management.

Being a leading MFI in Mandalay region, Alliance has reached a gross loan portfolio of about 10.07 million in August 2017 through 64,120 active borrows and aims to promote financial inclusion around Myanmar by reaching a gross loan portfolio of $36 million by 2019.

Clients can get a loan through a joint liability group, for a loan size between K100,000 ($80) to 500,000 ($400) and through individual small enterprises with loan amount of between K500,000 ($400) and K5 million ($4000). To date, they have got a total savings of about $1.8 million.

Alliance’ operations began as a partnership between FIDES from Switzerland and BASIX from India back in 2014. Since then, they have grown  to 11 branches in Myanmar, operating with 358 staff members.

Prior to the latest investment round, Alliance closed a $3 million with IFU, Insitor and BOPA closed in the first quarter of 2017.

Among the lenders of Alliance are Blue Orchard, a global impact investment firm, Incofin, advisor of impact investment firms and MCE Social Capital, a non-profit impact investment firm.

Myanmar has about 250 microfinance institutions, some of which recently received funding. VisionFund Myanmarin September, received a $4 million financing while Proximity Designs recently closed a $5.38 million back-to-back funding agreement with Yoma Bank. Meanwhile, Acleda, Fullerton, Pact Global Microfinance Fund and Hayman Capital received a follow-on investment of $1 million debt from Maybank this May.

Also Read:

Yangon social enterprise Proximity Designs in $5.38m funding pact with Yoma Bank

Myanmar MFI Hayman Capital secures $1m debt from May Bank

Exclusive: IFC to extend $21m debt to half a dozen MFIs in Myanmar

 

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

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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.