Proximity Designs, a Yangon based social enterprise which also runs a microfinance unit, has signed a back-to-back funding agreement with Yoma Bank for K7.3 billion ($5.38 million), the company announced on September 5.
The local agreement will allow Proximity Designs to fully hedge U.S. dollar funding attracted from overseas.
Proximity Designs will use the financing to further grow its microfinance business, allowing 28,000 farmers and other rural entrepreneurs to obtain credit.
“Yoma Bank is proud to support the extension of credit to Myanmar’s unbanked population through this innovative partnership with Proximity Designs,” said Hal Bosher, CEO of Yoma Bank.
Proximity Designs delivers smart products and services mainly to boost farm productivity and income of the rural.
“We hope this milestone facility will enable us to increase our reach to 28,000 new farmer households across Myanmar and deliver more affordable products for our clients,” said Savoeung Chann, CEO of Proximity Finance.
Products include foot-powered water pumps with drip irrigation system, salt-water seed selection method to increase yield, solar solutions for alternative energy and financial services like Yetagon Credit for irrigation and energy products and Proximity Finance, for farmers in the dry zone and delta area. As of July 2017, Proximity Finance has about 78,000 clients.
Yoma bank, founded in 1993, has 72 branches across Myanmar and secured a direct investment from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in 2014. Yoma also owns Wave Money, a mobile financial service platform with telecom operator Telenor.