Aye Finance Gets Rs 107 Crore In Debt Funding From BlueOrchard
Indian two thousand and five hundred rupee banknotes are arranged for a photograph in Mumbai, India. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

Aye Finance Gets Rs 107 Crore In Debt Funding From BlueOrchard

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Aye Finance has raised Rs 107 crore in debt funding from Swiss-based BlueOrchard.

The fintech startup, backed by Alphabet Inc.’ private equity firm CapitalG, will use the funding to extend affordable and customised credit solutions in the country.

"BlueOrchard has been supporting Aye in its mission to enable the financial inclusion of micro enterprises since May 2017 and has taken a total exposure of Rs 290 crore in the MSME (micro, small and medium enterprises) lender," according to a statement.

Aye Finance had in November announced it has raised Rs 125 crore from Netherlands Development Finance Company, taking the amount of total funds raised this year to more than Rs 1,140 crore.

Besides FMO, BlueOrchard and CapitalG, the company counts Falcon Edge, Housing Development Finance Corporation Ltd., ICICI Bank Ltd. and DCB Bank Ltd. as investors.

"This is the sixth round of funds we have received from BlueOrchard, and I believe this demonstrates their comfort with and commitment to our business," Sanjay Sharma, founder and managing director at Aye Finance, said. Lending to micro enterprises has been a less-travelled path for banks and financial companies and, hence, it is satisfying to have established an innovative paradigm of lending approach, he added.

Since its inception in 2014, Aye Finance has provided Rs 2,700-crore credit to more than 1.96 lakh grassroots businesses, the statement said.

Commenting on the investment, Normunds Mizis, chief credit officer at BlueOrchard, said India is an important market for the company, and it has been actively investing here for almost 20 years.

"We have been working with Aye Finance since 2017. This additional funding is testament to our conviction in the company's mission to bridge the gap between loans offered by MFIs (microfinance institutions) and those available from commercial banks, offering MSMEs across India access to attractive credit solutions," Mizis said.

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