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Chennai-based digital debt platform Northern Arc on Monday said it has received Rs 40 crore of debt financing from Kotak Mahindra Bank (KMB), backed by partial guarantees from The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation (MSDF) and The Rockefeller Foundation. The transaction is part of the Covid-response package of both these impact institutions.
The deal is the latest in a series of sanctions received by Northern Arc from development finance institutions (DFIs), as recognition for its role in enabling debt for under-banked retail households, small businesses and financial institutions.
The funds will be used to lend to retail households and micro entrepreneurs with household monthly income of less than Rs 25,000. Over the last year, Northern Arc has attracted debt financing from an array of global DFIs and impact investors such as US International Development Finance Corporation, Asian Development Bank, Calvert Impact Capital and FMO. Funds raised so far have been instrumental in enabling Northern Arc to provide finance to micro-loan borrowers and SMEs in India, who were severely impacted by the pandemic.
Bama Balakrishnan, COO, Northern Arc, said, “The transaction is a unique result of our structuring and product development capabilities, combining with our extensive investor reach to help raise funding for our own balance sheet. While we usually adopt this approach to benefit smaller partner institutions, this deal is proof that it can help larger and higher rated NBFCs raise debt at better pricing.”
Deepali Khanna, MD of Asia regional office at The Rockefeller Foundation, said: “The Covid Liquidity Fund demonstrates the power of catalytic capital to harness effective solutions for Indian micro entrepreneurs who are facing critical challenges, and paves new ways to save jobs and bolster economic activity, especially of the most vulnerable (poor and rural) populations. It will cover the working capital needs of thousands of women entrepreneurs, along with mini-grid companies and micro enterprises supported by Smart Power India.”
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