Northern Arc, one of India’s major debt financiers, on Friday announced that it has received a commitment of $50 million in debt financing from the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC).
The funds will be used by Northern Arc to support the growth and liquidity needs of its institutional clients, as well as for lending purposes to small businesses and individuals, it said in a statement. It will also be deployed to support women entrepreneurship and employment, food security, and water, sanitation, and hygiene, it added.
Edward A Burrier, DFC Executive Vice President, Strategy, said,
“The role of Northern Arc takes on added importance in the wake of COVID-19, which around the globe is disrupting access to capital that individuals, families, and businesses so desperately need. We are especially proud that our financing will support loans that empower women, who are often disproportionately impacted by crises like COVID-19, as well as expanded access to water, sanitation, and food, which are central to global health resilience.”
DFC is America’s development bank and an impact investor, partnering with companies across the world to address some of the critical challenges facing the developing world.
Northern Arc Capital Limited (formerly known as IFMR Capital Finance Limited) is a pan-India debt platform that addresses the credit requirements of the underbanked in India. These include financial institutions, mid-market enterprises, small businesses, and individuals.
To date, the company has enabled debt financing of around Rs 83,000 crore for its clients across microfinance, small business finance, affordable housing finance, vehicle finance, agriculture finance, and corporate finance.
Over 140 reputed investors (banks, asset managers, insurance companies, DFIs, private wealth, etc.) have invested in transactions structured and arranged by Northern Arc Capital.
Bama Balakrishnan, CFO of Northern Arc, said,
“Northern Arc and DFC are natural partners in the effort to serve the underbanked and promote women entrepreneurship. The transaction will allow us to support small and mid-sized NBFCs that are unable to attract debt funding from investors, especially after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the resultant lockdown. These entities operate across India’s landscape, serving nearly 50 million customers across 580 districts.”
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