Swedfund backs CreditAccess Grameen with debt capital

 Swedfund backs CreditAccess Grameen with debt capital

Swedish development finance Institution Swedfund has come in with debt funding for publicly listed microfinance institution CreditAccess Grameen Ltd.

Swedfund has provided $25 million in the form of a senior unsecured loan to the company that previously operated as Grameen Koota.

CreditAccess Grameen went public three years ago. It is majority owned by the Netherlands-based CreditAccess Asia NV and had previously raised $30 million in debt funding from Dutch development bank FMO.

It had also snapped up Madura Micro Finance Ltd last year and attracted WaterEquity, an impact investing fund manager co-founded by Oscar-winning actor Matt Damon, to make a separate debt investment.

CreditAccess provides group lending products as well as retail finance products, and focuses solely on female customers. It also offers access to non-financial services such as customer awareness and education programmes and sanitation efforts.

The firm’s revenue rose 44% to Rs 2,461 crore for the year ended March 31, 2021, but its net profit halved due to higher impairment.

CreditAccess Grameen is Swedfund’s second investment in the Indian microfinance sector, underpinning the strong impact case created by supporting rural female borrowers.

It has also backed Satin Creditcare Network in the past as part of its financial inclusion push in the country. Swedfund invests both directly and through third-party private equity and venture capital funds in India.

Chennai-based Northern Arc Capital, a debt investor and platform in the credit segment, advised Swedfund in the transaction.

Vivek Sinha

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The Capital Quest